WAUCONDA, Ill. — Diagnosed with a rare pediatric cancer just days before he was to start his senior year at Wauconda High School, Pierson Gibis' world changed overnight.
Two years and 100 blood transfusions later, "Gibby" is finally free of the cancer and determined to give back every unit of blood donated to him.
The 56 radiation treatments recommended as part of his fight against cancer meant he had to miss his entire senior year and the baseball season. Pierson was a standout catcher with hopes of landing a college baseball scholarship.
But instead, he spent the next year and half battling the cancer ravaging his body. The treatment took a toll, robbing him of 60 lbs. within months. It also meant weekly blood transfusions, so he could sustain the intense chemo and radiation.
Pierson promised himself that if he came out on the other side, he'd find a way to give back to those who helped him get there. This week that promise will materialize with a massive blood drive in his name. Pierson hopes to get over 100 donations to match the number he received during his road to recovery.
"Without all that blood I got, I wouldn't be here today," Gibis said. "I just want to help someone who would be in a similar scenario that needs blood."
To join the effort: visit lifesource.org and search by group code "173C" or call 877-543-3768 to schedule your own donation appointment