A two-decade dedication to saving lives

In the early 2000s, Chuck Schmidt walked the three blocks from his home in Raleigh, North Carolina, to the ribbon cutting of a new plasma center opening in town. He was the third donor in line that day and has continued going back every week for over two decades now. Schmidt has been a dedicated plasma donor, even going a second time during the week when he can to roll up his sleeve and give plasma simply for the benefit of those who need it. He doesn't know any plasma recipients personally, but his generosity comes from a simple place—knowing there is a constant need that his body can help meet. 

"I do it because I know there are shortages all the time, and my body can make plenty more," Schmidt says matter-of-factly about his lifesaving donations.

Schmidt has grown to appreciate the peaceful routine of donating plasma over the years, made even more calming by the attentive staff at his local donation center. While he most often passes the time listening to audiobooks, work conference calls, or music, he has been known to fall asleep on occasion too. Schmidt says he would recommend donating plasma to anyone without hesitation. The only thing he wishes is that the center would allow him to sleep, rather than wake him up when he nods off, or at least talk on the phone to stay awake, which is also not allowed. 

His impact is undeniable, though Schmidt deflects any notion of being a hero. In his eyes, he's just an ordinary guy doing a good deed, fitting donations into his work-from-home tech career schedule. Schmidt says “ If I can do some good in the world, I do it. I am not looking to be a hero or get a merit badge.” The only tangible ways his donations alter his routine each week is that he skips his morning vitamins and switches out his morning coffee for water. To Schmidt’s friends, classmates at the hung fu center he frequents, and significant others, he definitely fits the profile of a Plasma Hero. Many of them have even begun donating plasma as well after being inspired by Schmidt's example!

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