February 10, 2023
Former highway patrolman encourages others to give blood
BY Jade Waddy
Nolan Maxie, 84, has been motivating those around him to donate blood for nearly six decades. His dedication to helping others through blood donations was sparked in 1962 when he was a 24-year-old highway patrolman in northeast Texas.
“A fellow highway patrolman was seriously injured in a high-speed chase, motor vehicle collision, and we were all encouraged to go down to the local hospital to donate blood to help him,” Nolan says. “Ever since that incident, I have made donating a big priority.”
Less than a year later, Nolan was working the motorcade route in Dallas when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. He was on patrol and stationed outside of Gov. John Connally’s hospital room in Dallas for a week and a half. During that time, Nolan witnessed firsthand the critical need that blood donors play in treating patients.
“The whole thing was scary, but I knew we were all there to do our job,” Nolan says. “Being there reinforced my commitment to ensuring I not only continued to donate blood regularly but also encourage others to do the same.”
No matter where life took him in his career, he would find a local hospital or blood bank to donate. Nolan and his family moved to the Houston area in the late 1960s and he continued to donate to local blood banks.
To date, Maxie's records show he has made more than 240 donations, which is more than 30 gallons of whole blood over the past 60 years.
A commitment to donating at MD Anderson Blood Bank
Several years ago, he learned about the MD Anderson Blood Bank. MD Anderson patients require approximately 200 units of red blood cells and 600 units of platelets every day, making MD Anderson the largest transfusing hospital in the nation. Donating to MD Anderson Blood Bank is the only way to ensure a donor’s blood or platelets go to MD Anderson patients.
“Once I learned that my blood donations would go directly to patients at MD Anderson, I didn’t want to donate to anyone else,” Nolan says. “There was something special about knowing I’m making a difference in the lives of these patients.” He now donates three or four times each year. He figures he has donated 20 times to MD Anderson.
Encouraging others to donate at MD Anderson Blood Bank
“I am always encouraging my family, friends and community to donate to MD Anderson Blood Bank,” Nolan says. “We all may be affected by a cancer diagnosis at any moment, and we may know of someone that has had to undergo treatment for this terrible disease, so let’s help each other and wipe out cancer.”
Nolan has become creative in his personal marketing efforts to encourage others to follow in his footsteps and donate blood. His six, empty 5-gallon plastic buckets stacked high represent all the blood he has donated. They usually spark conversation with others as he shares his personal story of 60 years of donating this valuable lifeline.
“If every donation can help two or three patients, I’ve helped over 700 people. I plan to continue to donate as long as I stay healthy and I can do so, one pint at a time,” Nolan says. “I believe everyone should do all they can, while they can to bless and help others.”
Schedule an appointment to donate blood at MD Anderson Blood Bank online or by calling 713-792-7777.
I plan to continue to donate as long as I stay healthy and I am able to do so, one pint at a time.