DAYTON — Tipp City donor Cliff Cerbus doesn’t just answer the call to help save lives, he tries to be at the head of the line. He’s a perfect donor for pediatric patients, and he’ll donate just in time to help Dayton Children’s Hospital. That includes the milestone 100th lifetime donation he made Sept. 28 at the Dayton Community Blood Center.
“I’d know when it was going, every time I came in they would tell me,” Cliff said. “I’d change my schedule to go in and donate earlier in the week to go for those pediatric patients.”
Cliff is well aware that he is both a “Universal Donor” and a “Baby Donor.” His blood type is O negative, which any patient in need can receive. He’s also a CMV-negative donor, which means he has not been exposed to the cytomegalovirus. Hospitals prefer to use CMV-negative blood for units designated for children and to ensure the safety of blood transfusions to newborns.
Cliff made his first donation during a special appeal to college students. “I started in college down in Cincinnati at Xavier University,” he said. “I donated at The Jewish Hospital. They were offering $15 for anyone to donate!”
He studied physics and math at Xavier, earned his master’s degree in mathematics at the University of Dayton and went to work for UD. He now has over 28 years of experience managing and operating the SCEPTRE Facility at the US Air Force Research Laboratory. His research includes thermal control coatings for spacecraft.
Cliff and his wife Diane have three children. He’s kept a diligent schedule of donating whole blood when eligible, and always at the Dayton CBC.
The only interruption in his donation schedule came about 15 years ago. His eight-year old daughter Haley was diagnosed with leukemia and he didn’t want his blood donations to conflict with a bone marrow transplant she might need.
Haley is now 23 and healthy. His wish is for all children to have the same chance for recovery that comes from the life-saving gift of blood donations.
Learn more at www.GivingBlood.org