|Pastor Ray shows service in action to the children's ministry he leads each time he donates blood.|
British-born Pastor Ray Baldwin, thankfully, is not like many of our Red Cross blood donors. He was born as a twin with an extremely rare blood type of AARH-, or blue blood. He was told that "less than 1 percent of 1 percent" have that blood type.At birth he had a blood transfusion - the 10th blood transfusion performed at that time in England. Sadly, his twin did not survive, but Ray went on to thrive.
As a young man, a rebellious stage landed him the hospital from a motorcycle accident where he received lifesaving blood for the second time in his life.
In 1976, Ray married a U.S. citizen and moved to the United States. In the late 1990’s, a friend of his was in the hospital and in need of blood. At that moment, Pastor Ray became the blood donor instead of the blood recipient.
"I felt a need to give," he said. "I'm here because someone gave blood." And so Pastor Ray decided to pay the generosity forward to the many others in our area who require blood transfusions.
In Fort Worth, he helped to organize blood drives at his church, Turning Point Church, where he is the children's pastor.
"If I can help somebody here on this earth with something I have, I'm going to do it," he explained. "It feels really good to give blood and help somebody else.
"And I hate needles," he added."Oh, you have no idea how much."
Ray received blood for the third time in his life after getting bucked from a horse.
"It's payback," he said. "I’ve used a lot of blood during my lifetime, so I'm going to give a lot."
So thankfully, Ray isn't like most of our blood donors, since most donors weren’t saved at birth and at subsequent time throughout their lives.
We say thank you to Pastor Ray for helping us show the power of a blood donation. It might just be yourself that you’re saving.
Join Ray and become a regular blood donor. Schedule a blood drive at your church or neighborhood gathering by visiting redcrossblood.org.