SYSK: Ernie Martin joins 10 gallon club - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

SYSK: Ernie Martin joins 10 gallon club

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by Danielle Wagner

CRESCO (KWWL) When it comes to blood, there's a never-ending need. Life Serve Blood Center (formerly the Blood Center of Iowa) was in Cresco for a drive. One man in line was no rookie.

Ernie Martin joined an exclusive club. He's donated 80 pints of blood or ten gallons!

"Not many people out there have given 10 gallons of whole blood," said Ernie Martin.

One pint of blood can help three different people. So with 80 pints, he's single handedly helped save the lives of at least 240 people.

"It's the right thing to do. You never know when you're going to need blood yourself," said Martin.

Martin has never needed blood himself, but about one in seven people entering a hospital do. That's why every two months he's back in the chair, bagging up more blood.

"It always makes me feel good that I've given blood and helped three people. And helping people in 20 minutes lying on your back, that's pretty simple," he said.

Pretty simple, yet according to the blood center, less than 10 percent of eligible donors actually make the time.

Martin has made the time for years, that's how long it takes to join the 10 gallon club.

"It can take 12 to 15 years. You can donate once every 56 days so you can tell it does take a long time and a commitment to achieve that," said Jon Danielson with Life Serve Blood Center.

Ernie Martin said he realized about a year ago he was getting close to the milestone.

"You mark off one pint and you mark off another pint and another and finally I got to 80 pints," said Martin.

Martin isn't stopping at 80 pints, he'll continue to be a regular blood donor.

"And above all, he's thinking about other people. By donating his time and blood he's helping to save lives," said Jon Danielson.

Reporter: Danielle Wagner

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