When it comes to going above and beyond the call of duty, City of Hope employee Michael Rorman may have everyone beat. But he does not aim to bring attention to himself; his real, heartfelt focus is to help and support cancer patients however he can.
|Michael Rorman received a celebratory bottle of sparkling cider upon his 100th donation. (Photo by Jill Schwarz)|
One way is through giving blood. Rorman made his 100th donation of platelets to the Donor Apheresis Center on Dec. 11, 2009 — more than 12 years after he started donating platelets at City of Hope when his wife, Elizabeth, started treatment for breast cancer.
Since losing her to the disease in 2003, the associate director of corporate real estate for City of Hope has been heavily involved in fundraising and awareness activities. The team he organized for the Los Angeles Walk for Hope to Cure Breast Cancer, Team Big Time, has raised more than $41,000 over the past six years. The Elizabeth Rorman Memorial Blood Drive, held every winter around Super Bowl Sunday in their community of Rossmoor, Calif., is still going strong. After having brought in more than 500 pints through the years, the 11th annual blood drive will be held Jan. 31.
Unlike whole blood, which can only be donated every 56 days, platelets can be donated every two weeks. Whole blood donations take about an hour, while platelet donations take about two hours. Even though platelet donation takes longer, Rorman said it offers benefits.
“The major advantage for me, since they recirculate the blood back into my body — only keeping platelets — is that it doesn’t wipe me out at all,” he said. “I have plenty of energy afterwards compared to when donating blood, which tends to reduce my energy level. Additionally, I can make a bigger impact by donating as many as 24 times annually versus only six with whole blood.”
His consistency inspires staff at the Michael Amini Transfusion Medicine Center. “Michael defines ‘give,’” said Jill Schwarz, manager of whole blood and platelet recruitment. “He has continued to be generous with his time and selfless donations for patients he may never meet. We need more people like Michael.”
Rorman’s experiences put blood donation in perspective. “After watching my wife fight for seven years, enduring very difficult surgeries and procedures, donating platelets is a very small price to pay compared to what she and other patients have to endure while fighting cancer.”
The Rossmoor/City of Hope Community Blood Drive in memory of Elizabeth Rorman will be held at the Montecito Community Center, 12341 Montecito Rd., Rossmoor, from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Jan. 31. For details, contact Michael Rorman at firstname.lastname@example.org.