Pint for Pint Blood Drive getting ready to kick off where donors can help save a life

LINDSAY, Calif. (KFSN) -- At 66-years-old Frank Schiro spends his mornings doing the crossword with his wife. Something, 25 years ago, he didn't know he'd be able to do.

"To know that someone is saying I'm going to give you 10 years, 20 years, to do somethings with your life. It will change a life."

Active as a tri-athlete his entire life, the beloved Lindsey High School football and swimming coach, at the time, was in peak health. In the fall of 1990, after a series of infections like strep throat and unexplainable bruising, Schiro found himself at the doctors more than ever.

"I was really fatigued. I just, I couldn't get on top of it. I thought there was something wrong with me."

Initially tested for Valley Fever and blood tests Schiro was later sent to an oncologist who diagnosed him with chronic myeloid leukemia. Schiro was given the gift of time thanks to a bone marrow transplant.

"What a gift a donor can do. To say, 'I value you as a person so I'm going to give part of me to you so you can continue your journey.'"

Schiro's brother was his match, but some aren't so lucky.

Depending on how they're used, blood donations can save up to 3 lives They can also help find a marrow match for someone in need.

"Once we collect that unit of blood we send it back to the lab, and then we start breaking it down to components, plasma, platelet, and red blood cells," said Dean Eller, President & CEO of Central California Blood Center.

That process takes up to two days. It's then sent out almost immediately to one of the 31 hospitals in Fresno, Tulare, Kings, Merced, and Mariposa Counties.

"That's why we have eight bloodmobiles that we send to the five county area every day looking for those donors," said Eller.

You can be one of them by donating at the pint for pint blood drive this Friday and Saturday at one of the five locations in Fresno, Clovis, and Visalia.
Copyright © 2021 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.