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Upwards of 2,478 Lives Saved Thanks to Chargers Blood Drive XXXVIII

The Chargers and the San Diego Blood Bank host the 38th annual Blood Drive that will help hospital patients in the San Diego community and beyond.

Hero is a word that gets thrown around often for football players.

Joey Bosa hears it on a regular basis as he thrives making opposing quarterbacks nervous wrecks.

On Tuesday, he did the exact opposite, calming the nerves of true heroes donating blood at the 38th Annual Chargers Blood Drive.

"I was freaking out but he made sure I was OK!" said 26-year old Nicole, donating blood for the first time.  "He kept asking if I was alright and if there was anything he could do to help."

"(Joey) asked if I was nervous and kept making sure I wasn't going to pass out," 22-year old Kimberly noted as well. "This is my second time doing it, and last year I was finally able to work things out with my work to come do it.  Obviously I did it for the first time because it is a Chargers event, but I've donated it other times too because I love it.  It was awesome to have Joey Bosa here to (support) me this morning. It was really cool."

Nearly the entire Chargers roster was on hand to continue one of San Diego's greatest traditions.  The annual extravaganza has turned into the largest blood drive in the nation, and began in 1979 when America's Finest City rallied around Rolf Benirschke.  The Chargers kicker fell ill on the team's flight home following a game, and ended up undergoing multiple surgeries requiring 80 pints of blood due to complications with ulcerative colitis. 

Fast forward 38 years, countless lives have been saved as the event is still going strong. This year, 826 pints of blood were donated.  According to San Diego Blood Bank CEO David Wellis, one pint can potentially save up to three lives. That means upwards of 2,478 lives were saved thanks to Chargers Blood Drive XXXVIII.

Over the years, 73,000 pints of blood have been donated, meaning over 200,000 lives have been saved over the last 38 years thanks to the Chargers Blood Drive.

Some of those who've been saved were in attendance, and their presence resonated deeply with the Bolts.  Two of them were 10-year-old Brianna and nine-year old Trevor.

"I like handing out my cards to the blood donors and thanking them because they are the reason I am still alive," said Brianna, who required monthly blood transfusions due to sickle-cell anemia.  "The Chargers are very nice to me when I get to go up and meet them personally."

Meanwhile, Trevor was born with a complex heart condition that required three open heart surgeries as well as other procedures.  He needed a number of transfusions over the process, and according to his mother Stacey, he wouldn't be here today without events like the Chargers Blood Drive.

"It's awesome to meet the Chargers and have them tell me I am happy I am here," Trevor said.

Both stories resonated deeply with Tyrell Williams.

"These kids we meet, their lives are saved because of this event.  That's crazy.  That's awesome.  It is so sad what they have to go through, and it makes you appreciate what you have in life.  Especially seeing a little boy and girl like that.  It makes us appreciate everyone who came out here today and who are saving lives."

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