FRESNO, Calif. - In Fresno, a special blood drive is helping to collect hundreds of pints of blood for the Central Valley. Every year, a young man named Parker Fritsch holds a blood drive in Fresno. But, this year is the last, because Fritsch is off to college! Fritsch was diagnosed at the age of four with Philadelphia Positive Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. And since then, he's teamed up with the Central California Blood Center to hold Parker's Pals Blood Drive and Marrow Registration.
Fritsch said he couldn't be here today to share his story if it weren't for a bone marrow transplant he underwent 12 years ago, and for all of the donated blood.
"You could ultimately end up saving someone's life, and that has no greater feeling to me," stated Fritsch about all the donors. "That bone marrow transplant is the reason why I'm here today, the reason why I'm applying to college."
Every year the Parker's Pal's Blood drive is held at the Save Mart Center.
Tatiana Partain is the marketing supervisor at Central California Blood Center. She stated, "It's thanks to him actually, throughout the years, we've collected well over 6,000 pints of blood just in his name. So, a one day blood drive, it's huge."
Partain said that equates to nearly 18,000 lives saved - all because of Fritsch's efforts.
Donor Jenifer Fisher, "He's amazing, I mean, it's an amazing story and he's a great kid, and I'm just so happy for him."
But, as the old adage goes, all good things must come to an end. Fritsch is getting ready to head to college to major in neurobiology and pre-med. And so this is the final Parker's Pals Blood Drive.
Partain stated, "Who knows what's in store for him, maybe he can cure something."
"I'm at a very exciting point in my life trying to figure out, where I'm going to go next year, haven't made a formal decision yet, but it's just exciting times," ended Fritsch.