Blood bond

Father and son Mike, left, and Austin Grisham donate blood at Scott & White blood center last week. The Grishams have been giving blood together for years, each having donated five gallons.

Courtesy photo

There are any number of ways fathers and their children can spend time together.

Mike Grisham and his son, Austin, are no different. They play golf and water ski. They’ve also been donating blood together at Scott & White for a number of years.

On Tuesday, the Grishams showed up at the Scott & White Blood Center prepared to give blood once again. Over the years they’ve each donated at least 5 gallons.

Usually, Nancy Grisham, Mike’s wife and Austin’s mother, accompanies the pair. She was a gold donor in 2013, having donated blood seven times in 12 months.

“She decided to cut back this year because she’s low on iron,” Austin Grisham said.

Austin Grisham, who moved to Belton from Georgetown a few years ago, noticed his parents were regularly donating blood and figured he, too, could make the time to donate.

“It makes me feel good; it makes me feel warm,” he said. “I know someone needing it will receive it. I know it’s a good cause and I want to give back to the community.”

His career in real estate makes donating easy, he said. “I can make my own hours.”

Austin Grisham said he moved north to get back to a small-town atmosphere.

“The people are friendlier here,” he said. “People wave to each other here.”

Mike Grisham said he began donating blood when he was in his 30s because of a childhood experience.

When he was 3, Mike Grisham fell on a mirror at his grandparents’ home in Gorman and nearly cut his hand off, severing tendons and arteries.

The only hospital in the area was a couple of blocks away.

“I almost died because I lost so much blood and I had to be transfused,” he said.

“Thank God somebody gave blood for me. Hopefully we’re saving lives.”

Austin Grisham has donated blood when there is a tragedy with multiple injuries and the need for additional blood is great, such as the Fort Hood shootings.

“There was a kid that got run over by a dump truck on my road and he had to have some major surgeries and I came to donate as soon as I could,” he said.

The Grishams said they would be grilling for Father’s Day, likely at the lake.

Austin Grisham and his brother, Loren, will be doing the cooking.

“I don’t cook, I’m an eater,” Mike Grisham said. “Got to have eaters.”

The Scott & White Blood Center needs 60 units of blood donated daily to meet the needs of the health care system’s facilities in Central Texas, said Ashley Davis, donor service recruiter.

“It’s a difficult goal, especially in the summer,” she said.

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