CITRUS HEIGHTS, CA -The Heberleins never gave it much thought. Kacie didn't do it for fear of needles, and Kevin simply never made it a priority. For these parents of three young boys, giving blood was never even on their radar.
"We didn't care, we had other things going on," said Kacie. But one afternoon three years ago, their priorities took a complete overhaul.
A dirt bike accident that changed everything.
The date was Aug. 18, 2007. Kevin was riding his bike in the Foresthill area when he misjudged one of the turns.
"I got kicked off my bike and landed on my shoulders, with my feet over my head," said Kevin. "I had a couple of guys carrying me over their shoulders just to get me into the emergency room."
Kevin had broken one of his vertebrae. A doctor told him he could have easily been paralyzed. It took a seven and a half hour emergency surgery, and a steady supply of blood, to get him on the road to recovery.
"The doctor didn't really specify how much blood I needed, but he said I used quite a bit," said Kevin.
After that, the thing that Kevin and Kacie never thought of doing before became a no-brainer. Every eight weeks Kevin and his wife give blood.
"I definitely realize how crucial it is to give blood," said Kevin.
"There is one person who gave an hour of their time, donated blood, and saved my husband's life, for the rest of his life," said Kacie, who put aside her fear of needles to become a regular donor. "I think that hour is worth any life that can be saved."
"We just have to see beyond the physical discomfort to know that you really are going to save somebody's life," said Kevin.
The News10 Blood Donor day runs from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday, July 9. You can donate at the News10 studios on 400 Broadway, or at any BloodSource or Delta Blood Bank location. You can also go to the Wackford Community Center in Elk Grove, the Maidu Community Center in Roseville, and the MRPS Hall in Manteca.
By Will Frampton, firstname.lastname@example.org