“It's better to give than to receive,” he said.
No, the 63-year-old Minford resident is not talking about Christmas presents for the upcoming holiday season. His focus is on more important matters.
Gahm has donated almost 10 gallons of blood to the American Red Cross in his life. He was named Red Cross Blood Hero for 2006.
“I had two broken legs in 1961 and I lost a lot of blood,” he said. “If the blood wasn't there for me, I wouldn't be here now.”
He gives a pint of blood every 56 days at the Minford Fire Department.
“They are strict on the 56-day limit,” Gahm said. “I've tried to give on the 55th day, and they won't take it.”
Therefore, if an organization calls Gahm asking for a donation between his scheduled times, he cannot donate.
Making Gahm's feat even more remarkable is that he lost his sight in a March 1970 auto crash. So his wife, Rita, or mother-in-law, Edna Brown, takes him to donate.
“Since I'm blind, there's not a whole lot I can do for people,” Gahm said. “So if I can help, that's fine with me.”
Once Gahm reaches 10 gallons, he said he will set his next goal at 15 gallons.
He said he started giving blood years ago when school children were encouraged to donate blood.
“We'd go down and there would be all these school busses there,” Gahm said. “But they would let us go first so we didn't have to wait for all the kids.”
He said it was a good idea to get children involved in giving blood at a young age.
“I don't know why they don't do that anymore,” he said.
It takes Gahm about an hour to donate a pint of blood. Because he's given so much blood, he knows the procedure well.
“You don't feel bad after donating,” Gahm said. “It you drink a lot of liquids and eat well, you don't feel anything at all.”
Even if Gahm reaches 15 gallons, he doesn't plan on stopping his blood donations.
“As long as my health is good, I have no reason to quit,” he said.
He will continue to perform his service early in the morning, however.
“I'd rather go early in the day instead of later,” Gahm said. “If you go in the afternoon you have to stand and wait in line. But if you go early, it's zip, zip, zip and you're done.”
JEFF BARRON can be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 236.