In 1994, Capt. Pete Lawson of the San Bernardino County Fire Department suffered serious burns while battling a bottomland fire.
One of his most vivid memories during his recovery was a LifeStream blood drive organized in his honor. “I could not believe how many people came out for me,” he recalls. “When I was able, I was determined to pay them back.” But his advocacy was not cause-and-effect. Capt. Lawson, an O-negative donor, was a donor before being injured. But he took his commitment to another level following his recovery.
He returned to the donor chair on a regular basis. Each year, he is an active, passionate spokesperson for LifeStream’s “Guns & Hoses” blood drive challenge involving first responders. He also volunteers his time on LifeStream’s committee that organizes each year’s Gift of Life Tribute, 10-Gallon Donor Celebration.
“I’ll do whatever I can to promote blood donation and LifeStream,” he says.