American Red Cross Donor Inducted into the Fenwal Donation Hall of Fame

Cary resident, Michael Zapata, Jr. recognized for commitment to blood donation Thursday, Nov. 6 at Durham Blood Donation Center.

American Red Cross blood and platelet donor Michael Zapata, Jr. is one of 15 donors nationwide inducted into the Donation Hall of Fame, sponsored by Fenwal, Inc. The Donation Hall of Fame recognizes individuals nationwide who have demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to blood donation.

Durham Hall of Fame Blood Donor Mr. Zapata

Mr. Zapata waits at the bus stop for his regular journey to the Red Cross blood donation center in Durham.

The Red Cross teamed up with Fenwal to induct Zapata into the Donation Hall of Fame at a ceremony at the American Red Cross Durham Blood Donation Center at 4737 University Drive from 2 – 3 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 6 to honor Zapata’s many contributions to people in need of blood transfusions.

“We are excited that Fenwal has recognized Michael,” said Sharon Pitt, CEO for the Carolinas Blood Services Region. “The Fenwal Hall of Fame induction is a fitting tribute to one of our most dedicated donors. He has selflessly helped to give the gift of life to patients in need and is a hero to our community.”

Primarily a platelet donor, Zapata was a part of 12 inspiring donation stories across the country selected for the Fenwal 2014 Donation Hall of Fame. In addition, his story will be featured in the Fenwal 2015 calendar.

As an inductee into the Fenwal Donation Hall of Fame, Zapata also was recognized with a personalized Fenwal Donation Hall of Fame statue and a Donation Hall of Fame lapel pin which will be presented during the induction ceremony.

Michael Zapata’s dedication to helping save lives rises to an exceptional level. A Cary resident, Zapata takes four buses from his home to the American Red Cross Durham Donation Center, every two weeks to donate platelets, a procedure that takes approximately two hours.

“Mr. Zapata is a wonderful person, and is very passionate about his mission to save lives,” said Rossitza Todorova, the Red Cross team supervisor who nominated Zapata. “He has been a platelet donor for twenty years now, and donated whole blood for many years prior to that. We know that we can always count on him to be here for his appointment.”

Zapata starts his donation day by catching the first of four buses around 7 a.m. to travel to the donation center. Always on time, Zapata arrives to greet his Red Cross family with a smile and snacks for the staff before making his triple platelet donation. When asked about the time and commitment to donating regularly, Zapata says, “It’s never more than one hour (that) I wait at the bus stop, and I am well prepared. I have my walker, umbrella, hat, sunscreen, water and snacks.” And, according to the Red Cross staff, a big heart.

“We look forward to partnering with the American Red Cross to induct Michael into the Fenwal Donation Hall of Fame,” said Greg Cinnamon, account executive for Fenwal, a Fresenius-Kabi Company. “His commitment to helping others through donations is honorable and serves as an inspiration to others.”

For more than a decade, Fenwal has partnered with blood centers through the Donation Hall of Fame to recognize the commitment and dedication of extraordinary donors and volunteers. The program celebrates these individuals and the important cause that they support. It provides blood center staff with real, inspiring, devoted donor stories and tools to help centers celebrate them and share their stories.

How to donate blood
Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

About Fenwal
Fenwal Inc. is a medical technology company focused on improving transfusion medicine through unique expertise in blood separation, collection, filtration, storage and transfusion. Acquired by Fresenius Kabi in December 2012, Fenwal offers a broad range of products and services for the automated and manual collection of blood and blood components. Fenwal products and advanced collection and separation technologies are used worldwide. For more information please visit http://www.fenwalinc.com.

About Fresenius Kabi
Fresenius Kabi (www.fresenius-kabi.com) is a leading international health care company focusing on products for the therapy and care of critically and chronically ill patients inside and outside the hospital. The company’s product portfolio comprises a comprehensive range of I.V. generic drugs, infusion therapies and clinical nutrition products as well as the medical devices for administering these products. Within transfusion technologies, Fresenius Kabi offers products for whole blood collection and processing as well as for transfusion medicine and cell therapies. Fresenius Kabi is a wholly owned subsidiary of the health care group Fresenius SE & Co. KGaA.

By: Natividad Lewis – American Red Cross Bio Medical

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