SLU Staff Member Makes 100th Blood Donation

09/20/2017

For Frank Tucci, living Saint Louis University's Jesuit mission means literally giving of himself to others and Friday marked a milestone for him as he made his 100th gift of life-saving blood to the American Red Cross.

Tucci, a SLU staff member, alumnus and current doctoral student in higher education administration, has been donating blood and platelets for 30 years. Tucci donated during a drive held at Busch Student Center.

Frank Tucci makes his 100th donation
SLU staff member, alumnus and student Frank Tucci has been donating blood since high school. Submitted photo

"It's quite simple," Tucci said of his three decades of donations. "I try to outnumber the bad things I do - and I'm human, so of course there are bad things - with the good. The biggest motivation for me was the service to humanity. It really does save lives."

According to Tucci, he began giving at blood drives while in high school. He has continued giving as a member of SLU's Office of Student Financial Services where he works as a counselor. Most of his donations, he said, have been at SLU drives. Tucci has worked at SLU for 18 years.

In addition to donating blood and platelets, Tucci credits the University with inspiring perhaps the most significant donation of his life - life-saving bone marrow. In 2001, spurred by a monthly message from then-University President Lawrence Biondi, S.J., the Fenton resident took part in a blood drive that included registration for donors to the national Bone Marrow Registry, now known as Be The Match. Six years later, in June 2007, Tucci matched a 15 year-old girl in Connecticut who was suffering from leukemia. Tucci flew to Indianapolis, where he underwent the bone marrow donation procedure.

Today, the girl who received Tucci's gift has completed a nursing degree, he said. The two still keep in touch regularly. 

In order to keep in shape for his blood donation regimen, Tucci said he tries to maintain a heathy diet as well as running avidly. He also teaches spin classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:30 a.m. to 7:15 a.m. at the Simon Recreation Center when not studying for his doctorate. 

While it took him 30 years to make 100 blood donations, Tucci has set an ambitious goal for himself as he continues living and giving, the Jesuit way.

"My goal is to reach my 200th - bicentennial - donation before I'm 70," he said.