This morning, Feb. 4, 2022, CUW's Counseling Center director, Dave Enters, participated in his 500th blood draw. Less than 1 percent of donors reach this milestone.

Dave Enters has donated blood 500 times. And yes, he’s still afraid of needles.

Despite the aversion, Enters has come a long way since his first blood draw more than 43 years ago. He can’t even remember why he donated in the first place, though he does recall, “There must have been a need.”

Fast-forward several years, circa 1990. That would be the next time Enters would donate blood. He read an article in a Christian magazine which contained an excerpt from the book “In His Image” by Dr. Paul Brand, a notable surgeon, and Philip Yancey. The book demonstrates how accurately and intricately the human body portrays the Body of Christ.

The book had a profound impact on Enters, especially as it related to blood donation and how important it is. “It developed in me more clearly the understanding that ‘blood gives life,’ ‘Christ gave His blood so that I might have eternal life,’” said Enters. “The significance of what Jesus did for me all of a sudden was enhanced.”

A biweekly platelet donor

From that point forward Enters began donating whole blood on a regular basis for about six or seven years. Then one day, while Enters was donating, a phlebotomist asked him if he had ever thought about donating platelets, the part of the blood that helps control bleeding. The phlebotomist explained to Enters that platelet donation was a longer process, and she went into some detail as to how the platelets are used.

“It intrigued me enough to try it,” said Enters. “It’s a two-hour process so is an investment in time—more than 45 minutes or an hour [the time for a whole blood donation]. Somehow I graduated from a whole blood donor to a platelet donor.”

Since platelets can be replenished in the body within a handful of days, donors are eligible to donate platelets every two weeks, according to Enters. “I enjoy the every-other-week opportunity,” said Enters. Something he’s been doing now for approximately 23 years on a regular basis.

Among the top donors in Wisconsin

Enters’ faithful giving has not gone unnoticed by Versiti, formerly the Blood Center of Wisconsin, the organization with which he faithfully gives. Enters is among the top donors in all of Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, and Minnesota, according to a Versiti spokesperson. With his 500th donation, he also joins an elite group of donors nationwide (less than 1 percent) to reach the mile marker.

In total, Enters has given a total of 62.5 gallons. Because he is a platelet donor, his impact is multiplied. One platelet donation has the potential to save up to three lives. Thus, Enters’ giving may have impacted up to 1,500 lives.

It’s something that he’s extremely proud of, and every chance he gets he encourages others to become lifelong donors, especially the students at Concordia University Wisconsin.

Encouraging Concordians to give

In 2000, Enters began teaching an LA 105 course, an introductory course for all freshmen. Eventually the course changed, requiring a student service project for completion. Enters didn’t waste any time encouraging his class to take on a campus blood drive as its project. Though the LA 105 course model has been discontinued, the blood drives continue. They’re held at least biannually and are now organized by Randall Ferguson, PhD, Director of Christian Service.

While Enters still has a slight fear of the needle, the years of donating have given him a unique perspective on the act. Donating for him is all about expressing his thanks and gratitude for what Christ did for him.

“Christ gave freely for us,” said Enters. “What better response than to give blood so that someone else might have physical life?”

Become a donor

Learn more about donating or find a donation location near you by clicking here.

For Concordians looking to give, the next CUW-hosted Versiti blood drive will be held Feb. 16 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sign up is now open.

Sign up to donate at CUW

—This blog is adapted from an article originally written by Craig McCarthy. The story first ran in the fall 2013 issue of the Concordian magazine. 

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