MALIBU (CBSLA.com) — A 27-year-old Maryland man will participate in a local triathlon to honor the dozens of blood donors who saved his life nine years ago.
Brian Boyle is the picture of perfect health: A personal trainer, a veteran marathoner, a triathlete.
In 2004, it was a different story.
“I was coming home from swim practice and I was involved in a near-fatal car accident with a speeding dump truck,” said Boyle.
The injuries were unimaginable for Boyle and his parents.
“My heart went across my chest; scattered ribs, shattered pelvis, collapsed lungs, pretty much every major organ was damaged,” he said.
Boyle lost 60 percent of his blood in the accident, but anonymous blood donors stepped in.
“I thought about the selfless gift these anonymous people gave me and it inspired me. I thought to myself, ‘If I ever get better, if I ever recover 100 percent, I want to get out there and share my story and show my gratitude as a blood recipient,’” he said.
Boyle is among thousands competing in the Nautica Malibu Triathlon. He’ll be racing with 36 Red Crosses on his suit, representing the 36 donors who helped him recover.
“Here in Southern California, there is a constant need for blood. Blood donors of all types are always needed and we’re so grateful Brian is out here helping us raise awareness at a critical time,” said Mick Samaniego of the American Red Cross.
Boyle, who is now a volunteer spokesperson for the Red Cross, hopes his story will motivate others to give blood.
“It’s so important to go out there and take that one hour of time. You never know where that blood is going to go. It could go to a friend, a family member, your own loved ones. You’re giving life,” he said.
For information on how to donate blood, visit the Red Cross.