FERNLEY, NV - Nearly every two seconds, someone in the United States needs blood. It's a statistic that hit home with Fernley couple Matt and Jessica Johnson. Their son Zackary was born with a number of health problems requiring surgery. He never made it home from the hospital, but his short life inspired his parents to do what they could to help others.
Their son suffered from kidney and heart problems, along with a compromised immune system. After many surgeries, they knew in their hearts they would have to let him go. "I held my son as he passed, and from then on I've been learning from him," says Matt. 12 Years later, it's still difficult for Jessica and Matt to look through clothes and toys that belonged to their son. They say they searched for a way to channel that emotion into something positive to honor him.
"He had received so many blood and platelet transfusions, that it was a no-brainer," says Jessica. "We had to start a memorial blood drive for him." It's now in its 8th year, always taking place on or near Zack's birthday, March 14th.In honor of his short life, many others have been touched. Jessica says donors have been able to save up to 732 lives since starting the blood drive in 2007.
The couple has since had another son and a daughter who are both healthy. They say even though Zack is gone, they still consider themselves a family of five.
The blood drive takes place Friday, March 14th from 10:30 AM- 3:30 PM.
You'll see the Bloodmobile parked at Purcell Tires, 1505 E Newlands Drive, Fernley.
To schedule an appointment, log on to www.BloodHero.Com click "donate blood" use sponsor code: Zackary, or call (775) 225-5838.