The San Diego Blood Bank announced Tuesday that it is holding a "virtual blood drive" in memory of longtime blood donor Dale Larson, who had a lifetime goal of donating 100 gallons of blood.
Larson died in his sleep on the morning of June 1 -- 40 gallons shy of his donation goal. To honor Larson, his friend John Alford created a challenge for fellow blood donors to "finish Dale's race to 100."
Between now and June 28, donors can note the code "DALE" when registering to donate blood in his name.
"Dale's greatest joy came from his family, volunteering, and running," according to a statement from the blood bank. "Dale was a husband, father of five, and grandfather of nine. He was an active community volunteer in Ramona, along with his wife Lori, where they supported many causes including San Diego Blood Bank, Wounded Warriors Battalion, and Marine families."
Larson would often donate platelets and other blood components via a process called apheresis. His friendliness made him popular with blood bank staff, volunteers and fellow donors, a blood bank spokesperson said.
"Dale and I were racing to be the first to donate 100 gallons via apheresis and would jokingly tell the other every time we donated. Dale was well-known and loved by the SDBB staff, volunteers and other donors," Alford said. "Together, let's donate 320 pints and finish Dale's race!"
To be eligible to donate blood, a person must be at least 17 years old, weigh at least 114 pounds, and be in generally good health. Eligible blood donors are encouraged to schedule an appointment at SanDiegoBloodBank.org or call 1-800-4-MY-SDBB (1-800-469-7322).