SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - It's time to get into the game of life.
We're teaming up with Lifeshare blood centers across the ArkLaTex to bring in donors. Everyone will get a free t-shirt and a chance to win tickets to the Saints vs. Cowboys game in October. Those who give will also have a chance to win a $200 gift card for travel expenses.
But more important than anything, the blood donated will help save lives in the ArkLaTex and Barrett Lovell's story proves that.
"It was the end of August, last year, I started feeling weak, and then I started running really high fevers," explained Lovell.
This was just the beginning of a battle that's still being fought today. Lovell, a Bossier Parish deputy in his 30's, was diagnosed with Acute Leukemia last year.
"I can't really put into words what was going through my head," he said. "I guess fear would be the closest I could come. I know medicine has come a long way, but it's still a scary, scary word."
The same night he was diagnosed, he fainted because his blood levels dropped dangerously low. Doctors said he wouldn't have survived without blood donations.
"My doctor in Houston told me that if we didn't start something then, it was 2 to 3 months. That would've been it," said Lovell.
He received blood almost everyday during his treatment, and luckily found a match for a transplant that would save his life. In order for the procedure to be successful, he underwent massive amounts of chemo.
He was so sick and admitted he lost motivation to fight. That's where a young girl named Helen comes in who has been battling Leukemia for two years, but sent a message to Lovell.
"Never ever give up," she said. "You have to get out of that bed. Do it for the ones who love you and admire you."
With tears in his eyes, Lovell remembered how much that video meant to him.
"It really hit home. It brought tears to my eyes. It still does. You can tell I'm getting a little, you know. It helped me get up and you know, for a few days there," he said.
He says without the many blood donations, and encouragement from so many people, he wouldn't be here.
"People like that mean a lot to people like me, and they'll never know how much appreciation is out there for them," explained Lovell.
Donors can give blood at LifeShare in Shreveport on Linwood Avenue, in Bossier on Doctors Drive, and in Texarkana, Texas at the center on College Drive.
The blood drive ends on August 15, but donations are always needed.