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Family Giving Back, Holding Blood Drive After Boy's Life-Saving Transplant

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- A little boy who underwent a life-saving liver transplant has received a lot of attention. Now, his family is giving back.

Little Lucas Goeller is still in intensive care at Children's Hospital. His mom Jessica Goeller says he's improving little by little every day.

"He's running a test right now to see if he can breathe on his own. He has a ventilator on but has it turned off so they can monitor how he can breathe on his own for about an hour," Jessica said.

The family is holding out hope that the 2-year-old will start breathing on his own so he can start talking.

"He's tough. He has a huge incision on his stomach. He's not complaining. He just wants chocolate milk," Jessica said.

Now, the family wants to give back.

The Central Blood Bank has teamed up with the University of Pittsburgh Athletic Department to put on a Save Lucas Blood Drive which will be held on Friday.

"There's no substitute for human blood and the only way we can have a healthy inventory is if the community comes out and donates," Tamara Kilgorne, with the Central Blood Bank, said.

Even Dan Marino is asking people to come out and donate. He's spreading the word in a commercial posted to YouTube:

Save Lucas Goeller Replenishment Blood Drive by Be The Giving Type on YouTube

The blood bank says the summer months are when blood is typically needed most.

"People are on vacation. We do a lot of blood drives with high schools and colleges not in session right now for the most part," Kilgorne said.

"One donation saves three lives and there's children at the hospital every day that need blood to survive," Jessica said.

Before Lucas' liver transplant, which took place a week ago, he constantly needed blood so his body could have function normally.

After the transplant, his mom says he's needed at least seven blood transfusions.

"If you could go out and donate blood I know Lucas would really appreciate it because he sure does use a lot," Jessica said.

The blood drive will be held at the Peterson Events Center in Oakland from noon until 7 p.m.

Jessica hopes to donate blood around 2 p.m. She says she will donate blood if she can find someone to watch Lucas during that time.

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