In an historic first, Eric “Pepper” Mayer became the first donor to reach 500 platelet donations at Blood Bank of Delmarva on Friday, June 28.

Mayer came in early for his 7:30 a.m. appointment and successfully donated with Blood Collection Tech Donna Delia. Donna also presented Mr. Mayer with a custom-made cookie, and he was presented with a care bag full of gifts.

Eric “Pepper” Mayer and his niece Emily Lyons, celebrate his 500th donation as he gives blood.

Until Mayer’s fete, he had often traded places as top platelet donor at BBD with Robert Moley, who was the first donor to reach 400 donations at BBD, for top platelet donor. Moley has 496 donations.

Mayer decided to donate platelets long-term when he saw how impressed his mother was with his charitable deed.

“She was a candy striper, and my father was in the U.S. Navy,” he said. “So, I had to do something to give back to the health of the country, right?

“I went to visit my parents every morning, and I mentioned to my mother [one time] that I was going to donate platelets that morning. And she said, ‘Son, that’s very nice.’ And, it stuck with me all this time. I get to relive that moment every time I come and donate.”

Director, Quality and Regulatory Compliance Margaret Hannan and Director, Human Resources Phyllis Fisher were among BBD leadership that congratulated Mr. Mayer on his milestone achieved on Friday. Because they were on PTO that day, Executive Director Steve Corse and Senior Director of Laboratories Kristin Frederick made sure to congratulate him during his last donation two weeks prior, on June 14.

“His monumental donation comes during the critical, summertime need for blood donations, and we can’t thank him enough for his dedication to saving lives and ensuring that patients have access to safe and readily-available blood products,” Kristin said.

Mayer’s niece, Emily Lyons, also joined in the celebration, and donated whole blood in honor of her uncle’s milestone.