Passionate About Donating Blood, Running
By Paul Wadowick, American Red Cross Volunteer
Eighty years young, Jean Toth lives a life bigger than you would imagine. At first, you meet a petite lady who, like others, arrives with desire to help others with a donation of blood. Then she mentions that she’s eighty years old. Your interest is piqued. Now, you are ready to hear more of Jean’s story.
Jean raised her children like we all would. When she arrived in her forty second year of life, Jean was ready for other challenges. “That’s when I started training for the marathon and donating blood,” she said. That would be thirty-eight years, ago. Jean shared, “I didn’t donate before a marathon.” When asked how many times she’s donated, Jean replied, “I don’t know how many I’ve done.” This calculates to a probable minimum of 152 units or 19 gallons to a high of 228 times or 28.5 gallons between then and now. Along with the training runs, Jean qualified at a Columbus, Ohio marathon and did run the Boston Marathon in 1982 and 1985. Jean stated, “I still run eight to ten miles about three times a week. Does she still run the marathons? “No, not anymore,” Jean clarifies. “I started running half marathons this year. There are others who are there at the end, so I’m not alone.” She added, “I can donate blood more often, now.”
When Jean volunteered that she takes vitamins, diet was the next question. “I eat lots of salad, vegetables, rice, pasta, and some meat.” Further inquiry discovers that her five children gave her eight grandchildren who in turn made her a great grandmother twelve times. And there is one great, great, grandchild. Other achievements also came to light. Jean has earned twelve trophies, contested in light weight body building four or five years, and is in the Wickliffe Hall of Fame for Sports.
With all said and done, maybe we can say that Jean C. Toth is truly Eighty-Years-Strong.