Senior Associate Athletic Director for Communications Larry Dougherty can be seen on the sideline of all major Temple sporting events.
He has made a second home, however, at the local Red Cross, where he donates blood platelets for cancer patients.
“There was a blood drive at St. Joe’s. They were just starting this program, I believe, called Pheresis. And I saw that and I said, let me explore it more” said Dougherty.
Dougherty has now donated over 150 times, beginning over 30 years ago in college to help a friend who had Hemophilia, a blood clotting disorder that can be treated with platelets.
Throughout college and into the late 80s and 90s, Dougherty donated regularly. The two and a half hour process consists of signing in to the Red Cross as a donor, reviewing medical history with a worker, and, finally, being injected by a needle which separates the cells from platelets.
“I can work at times, I can watch a movie, I can listen to music, cause you have to kill about two and a half hours while you’re in this chair.”
Dougherty also found a way to kill the time by making a conference call, where he discussed the assets of this year’s men’s basketball team, all the while gripping a pressure release while a machine pumped out his blood.
He lost track of this process, however, when he began working at Temple.
“To be honest, I lost track of this my first eight years at Temple. It’s so close here, the Red Cross, but I lost track because of the demands of the job” said Dougherty.
It was on the way home from a basketball tournament, however, that Dougherty had the idea to begin donating again.
“It was after the NCAA tournament two years ago that I passed the Red Cross and said, I’ve got time, I can stop in and do this, and I started doing it, and I’ve been doing it twice a month ever since.” said Dougherty.
In addition to donating platelets, Dougherty has also given bone marrow, which saved the life of a 3 year old boy with cancer.
“I was all set to meet the young boy and his parents. Then I get a note maybe a week before that he had passed away. So it was a great high for me to be able to save a life, but I only saved a life for a year.”
Dougherty keeps the funeral announcement from the parents of the young boy stored in his briefcase.
“I think when you can do something to help others, and it’s really not difficult to do, why not? You can’t cure cancer, but you can help people with cancer…something you can do to help people with cancer.”