A Valentine's Day surprise in the north valley takes the form of more than a dozen blood donors getting the opportunity to meet the person who received their blood.
As a blood donor, you roll up your sleeve, give blood and go on your way -- never expecting to meet the person who receives it. But, special things can happen on Valentine’s Day.
That’s what happened Friday for 5-year-old Nathan Johnson and his parents. Nathan is from Casa Grande and has a rare blood disorder which requires him to need monthly blood transfusions to survive.
"It means everything to me because their blood has kept my baby alive," said April Macak, Nathan's mother.
Jeanne O'Callaghan was the first person to donate blood to Nathan when he was a baby boy. "I'm sure I'm going to cry, to think I had the opportunity to help that person," she said.
Friday's event was a chance to honor all blood donors, everywhere, the people who roll up their sleeves to save a stranger's life out of the goodness of their hearts.
Nathan’s donors each got a special Valentine's Day gift from him on stage to show their sacrifice was not in vain. Nathan didn’t walk away empty-handed either.
He was given the brand new scooter he’s been hoping for and has big plans for it when he gets home, riding it and playing video games.
Nathan will continue need transfusions for the rest of his life and is more likely to develop other problems like diabetes, but he’s beat the odds so far. And as long as there are blood donors, he has a good chance to live a long life.