Daniel Hardy recalls the first time he began donating blood in college in 2001.
“It was such a simple process,” he said of his first donation as a student at the University of Cincinnati.
Upon that first donation, the Hoxworth donor services team told him “he had big veins and a robust blood count,” so he switched to a red cell donation, an automated process that uses a machine to separate and collect two units of red cells while safely returning the remaining blood components, along with some saline, back through the same arm.
Hardy understands the importance on donating blood, both professionally and personally. Professionally, Hardy, who also holds a master’s degree from Northern Kentucky University, is a psychiatric nurse at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, and he also works as an independent psychiatric nurse practitioner. Personally, Hardy could have been on the receiving end as a blood recipient having had numerous surgeries for various ailments.
To Hardy, donating is a "free and easy way to give back,” he said.” “I have always believed that we should do more to help out our fellow humans.“
Help is what Hardy does, as he generally makes his next red cell donation appointment at Hoxworth North within a week of his 16-week eligibility date, and he’s “always surprised by how fast it goes,” he said.
Although he’s fond of Hoxworth’s promotional giveaways, he usually donates them to the patients at Children’s Hospital. “In psych, many of them are foster kids who could really use these cute shirts,” he said.
If he had to pick a favorite, it would have been the red long-sleeved shirt he got from the UC blood drive “because that, and the big blood drop mascot was what got me to sign up the first time,” he said.
When he’s not busy helping others, he enjoys playing with his four black cats, reading and listening to books and cycling through art projects; watercolor, jewelry, or making whatever catches his eye, he said.
To those who may be considering donating blood, Hardy said there’s a lot of myths about who can’t donate blood under what conditions. “Reach out and ask because something that might have disqualified you 10 years ago might not today,” he said.