The Donor with an ‘Iron Heart’

Donating blood is a rewarding and emotional experience, as you embrace the knowledge that your donation is going off to help save lives. On the other side, there are many recipients with their own stories and in desperate need of blood. One of those recipients was Brian Boyle, whom in 2004 was severely injured after a dump truck plowed into his vehicle after swim practice. He lost 60% of his blood and had to be placed in a medically-induced coma. Miraculously, he recovered with the help of 36 blood transfusions. The experience will always be close to his thoughts, and he wrote a book about the ordeal called “Iron Heart”.

Years later, Brian has been making national news in giving back. The holiday season in particular is tough for the American Red Cross, with so many people off on vacation and adverse weather keeping people from donating. Brian is giving back by hosting a large series of blood drives named after his book throughout Maryland, Washington D.C., and Virginia. This is the second year of the Iron Heart blood drives, which are likely to beat last years’ 16 drives that collected 1,116 units of blood. His youthful voice and story are of particular importance given that schools are often out for the Holiday break, that typically represent 20% of total donations. The Greater Chesapeake & Potomac Blood Services region has honored him the past two years as Spokesman of the Year, and he is featured in national advertising campaigns (as pictured above).

Hosting a blood drive is easier than you might think, and can be of great help in opening a new audience to the idea of donation. The number one reason people don’t donate blood is because they haven’t been asked, and hosting a drive is a great way to pose that question. Learn more by clicking here!

You can learn more about Brian Boyle, what he went through, his work with the American Red Cross, and his book at

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