Jacob | Daytona, FL

Jacob | Daytona, FL

A high school student credits Florida’s Blood Centers for saving his life after a phlebotomist discovers he has a potentially life-threatening illness.

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Jacob’s mission

Orlando Rowing Club General Administrator Heather Brooks said it was Jacob’s family’s wish that people donate blood in his honor.

“That’s why we decided to host the event, to do that for them,” Brooks said. “The whole rowing community is pretty close.”

Jacob’s own battle with cancer inspired him to give back to those in need, and when he was 17, he organized his own blood drive for his Eagle Scout Project.

“When he got to his Eagle project, it was a no-brainer, he knew right away what he wanted to do — he wanted to do a blood drive,” Snyder said.

And now the Orlando Rowing Club is continuing Jacob’s mission to give with the gift of blood.

‘More than a drive’

“We’re very excited about it and happy to sponsor it,” Orlando Rowing Club Chairman William Enright said. He also said health professionals will have booths set up at the drive to encourage others to become more aware of their own health.

“It’s more than just a blood drive,” Enright said. “It’s a celebration of his life, while giving other people that come to give blood the opportunities to check up on other things.”

Snyder said she was unexpectedly surprised when Enright approached her with the idea.

“I thought it was unbelievably generous; we were all sort of taken back in a positive way,” Snyder said.

Annual event plans

She also said she initially thought it was too early for her and her family to take part in the drive, but has since realized the drive is helping them.

“It’s helping us in more ways than one,” Snyder said. “First of all, it’s important that Jake is being honored … and second, it’s helping our family move forward.”

Orlando Rowing Club President Jim Field said the club plans to make this an annual event.

“We’re trying to give back as much as we can,” Field said. “It’s about fostering wellness in the community.”

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