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      Cristo Rey students give back by giving platelets

      "I had almost passed away because I could not get blood platelets while I was in the hospital," said Don Pierini when asked about his near death experience at Saint Vincent's hospital.{}Pierini told ABC 33/40's Larry Miller he spent 3 months in the hospital battling leukemia, a cancer of the blood.{}"I was bleeding controllably. So, I really needed a transfusion of platelets. At the last minute, St. Vincent was able to give me that unit of blood platelets."{}His encounter helped him realize that something must be done to increase blood supplies in hospitals, particularly that of blood platelets.{}Pierini formed the Liquid Gold Foundation, an organization committed to saving the lives of cancer patients. {}His journey eventually took him to Holy Family Cristo Rey Catholic High School in Ensley, where he shared his testimony with students.{}"Someday these youngsters may need the same service that they are giving," said Father Alex Steinmiller, President of Holy Family Cristo Rey Catholic High School.{}32 students signed up to take part in the blood drive that could save dozens of lives. {}The students said it was about giving back and supporting a cause greater than themselves.{}" Sometimes you gotta not think about yourself and think about others. {}I don't have cancer, Leukemia or any diseases but other people do and you want to give back to the community and help out people," said Erin Campbell, a senior.{}"My aunt had cancer. But I felt like this was for her. So, I am doing it for her," said Jasmine Searcy.Administrators hope to double the number of students participating next year and continue their tradition of service.{}

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