A Capital Region 11-year-old has inspired dozens of to help save lives through a Red Cross blood drive.
Every donation of blood can help up to three people.
That means more than 50 patients will benefit from an event held in Latham on Monday.
When one Tricia Barkman heard that the young boy was suffering with cancer, and required regular transfusions to help boost his immune system through the difficult chemotherapy treatments, she decided to organize a blood drive to support him.
Barkman said, "I can't do anything to help him medically, but we can do this to support him, because the Red Cross is always looking for blood donations."
Barkman is a teacher. She volunteers regularly, and says she has always been active at her local church.
"Helping people is my passion!" Barkman said.
So she planned the Red Cross blood drive to let that local boy with cancer know 'the community cares,' and is standing behind him as he fights to get better.
Barkman said, "We are doing this in honor of a young boy who we know that has currently been diagnosed with cancer, and is going through chemotherapy. So we are doing this to support him and just root him on, during this tough time."
And it turns out that dedicated volunteer isn't the only one who wanted to help out.
After hearing about the young boy, and the blood drive, dozens of people rolled up their sleeves to donate.
When asked if hearing that a local boy with cancer required regular transfusions had any impact on his decision to 'give,' Mark Czolowski said, "Absolutely. I have two children of my own, I have two sons, so certainly it helps, and I was glad to give."
While laying on a bed squeezing a ball to get the blood pumping Jessica Guzman said, "Why hold back, if I could give? It could benefit somebody. It could help them, so as long as I can give, I will."
And to those people who think that giving blood takes too long, or makes you sick, or hurts, Czolowski said, "It doesn't hurt, it's very simple, and there's no excuse not to give."
Guzman agrees. She said, 'You know how they say your vote makes a difference? Well, you know, your blood also makes a huge difference, and also it's super simple. I mean, it doesn't hurt. I'm lying here talking to you while giving blood, so it's really the easiest thing to do that could actually save a life."
Barkman said, "Please give! It is an hour of time, but it can be a life changing event for someone else who is in critical need. And we never know when we might be the ones that are in need."
And if you're interested in giving, there's always a way.
The Red Cross says there is a blood drive just about every day here in the Capital region, and right now there is a great need for platelets, because they only have a shelf life of five days.
To find out where the next blood drive is, or to schedule an appointment, just call 1-800-RED-CROSS, to help save a life.