David organizes trips for 2-3 colleagues at GlaxoSmithKline and as trip leader he plans the logistics, the route, and arranges the shuttles. He is the first of the group to complete the southern half of the AT which extends 1100 miles from Georgia to Pennsylvania. He estimates he has hiked at least 1500 miles on the AT since he has done several sections more than once.
The longest trip segment was 160 miles; the group averages about 17 miles per day. He began hiking segments of the trail around 18 years ago. Whether it was coincidence or fate, at around that same time he went to work at GlaxoSmithKline as a mechanical engineering technician and also began donating blood at Rex Blood Services.
“With a little effort, when on a backpacking trip, I experience the pure joy of living and life itself. With a little effort, spending a few hours donating blood, I can give someone else the chance to experience the same joy. We should all make the effort to help the less fortunate feel better and enjoy life just a little longer.”
As a platelet donor, David understands that this special type of blood donation is unique. The need for platelets is far greater than you may expect. The platelet supply is in constant need of replenishment because platelets must be used within five days. Platelets are essential to normal blood clotting and may be used by patients receiving transplants or during trauma.
Patients fighting cancers can require platelet transfusions because many chemotherapy drugs affect cells in the bone marrow. This commonly leads to low levels of white blood cells and platelets, which can sometimes put a person at risk for life-threatening infections or bleeding. Plasma (the liquid part of the blood) is often used for burn patients, trauma or surgical patients.
David continues to look forward to the next leg of his journey. Backpacker magazine provides him with some ideas for his next adventure. He would like to hike the Pacific Crest Trail at Yosemite. He consistently speaks highly of those he has met on the trail and praises their strength. The outdoors has been an integral part of David’s life since childhood and he recalls he often slept outdoors or on the porch.
David has given a total of 52 whole blood donations and 45 apheresis donations since he first came to Rex Blood Services in 1994. His gifts have impacted well over 250 lives since each donation may result in multiple component products. He usually donates platelets plus red blood cells during his donation in order to maximize his contribution.
A passion for nature, a positive attitude, and perseverance are a few of the gifts we receive from David Neville every time he visits Rex Blood Services. He meets challenges on the trail and in his life with remarkable focus and enviable equanimity. His Life is Good® shirt says it all. Under a picture of a tent and a campfire is a single word… “SIMPLIFY.”
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Rex invites everyone to “Take it Further” in our Join the Movement campaign this October through December. Every apheresis donor during this time will receive a “Take it Further” t-shirt and become part of a national movement to educate donors about the importance of being a blood donor and the value of apheresis donation.
Together we are building a nation of people that understand the importance of donation and its impact on the patients who benefit from the lifesaving gift of blood and blood components. For more information about whole blood or apheresis donation, visit us online at rexhealth.com/blood or call (919) 784-4750. View a list of mobile blood drives at rexhealth.com/blood-drive-schedule.
Other special October events at Rex Donor Center:
- Monday October 14 – Columbus Day – All blood donors at the center can register to win one pack of four admission tickets to the NC State Fair.
- Monday October 28 – Be a part of Make A Difference Day – a national day of community service! In celebration of the event, all blood donors at the center will have a chance to win a $20 gift card to one of the Eschelon Hospitality restaurants (Mura, Sono, Cameron Bar and Grill, The Oxford ). One gift card will be drawn for every 5 donors up to a total of 8 winners.