Meet Paul Konichek. Paul is a retired educator, an avid mountain climber, and one of our regular blood donors. We recently sat down with him to learn a little bit more about how and why he is such a motivated blood donor.
When we first found out Paul was available to meet to chat with us, we had to RUSH. He let us know that he was at our Round Rock Donor Center and just about to take off on his next mountain climbing adventure. He told us that one of the last things he does before a trip is make an appointment to donate blood. You see, he’s set a lofty blood donation goal, and he would hate to let any of his travels get in the way of his meeting that goal.
How it all began
As an infant, Paul’s life was saved through a blood transfusion performed by his family doctor. But as he grew up, he developed a terrible fear of needles and absolutely dreaded getting shots. After watching the doctors and nurses working around needles in the final episode of MASH, he became motivated to finally overcome his fear and start donating blood so he could help others in the same way he was once helped.
This motivation prompted Paul to make a goal of donating 256 pints of blood before he turned 74. At this point, Paul is newly 65 and right on track to reach his goal! In fact, he has donated 211 pints to date! Paul told us that for every one of the 211 pints that he has donated thus far, at the end of the donation day—no matter if it was a great day or the worst day or something in between—he always feels as if his greatest achievement was to have donated blood.
And frankly, we couldn’t agree more. Like Paul told us, blood donors make the world a better place. Very few other quick and easy tasks leave you with a better feeling of pure satisfaction. Paul told us that he feels blessed to be able to donate because so many people cannot, and he feels a need to use that blessing.
Boy, are we lucky to have people like Paul make up our family of donors! Think of how many lives he’s impacted by simply coming to donate blood a few times a year.
As a retired educator, Paul continues to motivate others to donate by urging them to set a realistic goal for donation and work to reach the goal. He says that overcoming the initial fear of donating can be easier when you are working towards a goal you’ve set for yourself.
Paul is pictured above mountain climbing Mt. Coma Pedrosa in the Pyreneese Mountain Range.