"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.