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Needles Don’t Scare This 36 Galloneer

by Claire DeRoin

Kirk Weaver’s lifetime of blood donation started at the Des Moines Donor Center before it was a blood donor center. The current LifeServe location on Locust Street lives in what used to be a bank. (One of the vaults currently serves as a break room!) Kirk went to work at the bank one day and decided to give things a shot at the company blood drive on the bloodmobile outside. What he didn’t expect at the time was the huge gallon level he would achieve and how blood donation would become a huge part of his life.

He’s an old pro by now: he’s been in to donate more than 150 times! Whole blood, platelets, plasma, and double red cells: Kirk has given it all and continues to let the needs of local hospital patients guide his appointments. His A+ blood type is very versatile, and thankfully he is, too! There’s nothing he hasn’t tried to help those in need of blood products.

Kirk’s biggest advice for first timers is to quit worrying about the needle poke. After all, the big picture is much more important.

“The people that I’ve had to that at LifeServe are very good at it,” Kirk said. “There’s just an initial stick but you just have to think about the benefits of the cancer patients, all the people that need blood. If you donate every eight weeks (or I’ve donated every two weeks at times), you’re just always helping somebody. That needle stick is well worth it.”

If there’s anyone whose word you can take as gospel, it’s Kirk. After all, you can’t donate 36+ gallons of blood without understanding a thing or two about the process.