Three weeks after Cooper Levine, 18, started his freshman year at Ithaca College, his parents, Trish and Alan, came to visit and noticed something wasn't right.
"We spent the afternoon with him and noticed his color looked a little off and he was a little quiet and seemed a little slow," says Trish Levine.
She asked him to go to the health center the next day thinking it might be mono, but they soon learned it was leukemia.
"Our son has an amazing sense of humor and he's a very strong young man. And at that time he said to the doctor so you're saying I have cancer? And the doctor said yes. And he said well that sucks," says Trish Levine.
"You never want to hear that your child is sick. You never want to hear that your child has cancer. It was really difficult for me," says Alan Levine.
Cooper spent seven weeks in the hospital and during that time received platelet and red blood cell transfusions. It was at that point his parents realized the importance of donating blood.
"I had no idea the quantity that would be necessary to sustain him," says Alan Levine.
Back home now in Oswego, they're paying it forward with the help of a family friend who's organized a blood drive in Cooper's name.
"We'd like to reach about 100 donors for this event. We have 60 so far. We've come to realize that every two seconds in the United States someone needs blood," says Trish Levine.
The blood drive will take place Monday December 30 from noon-6pm at the American Legion located at 69 West Bridge Street in Oswego. Please call 1-800-RED CROSS or Kate Brown at (315) 342-6056 to schedule your appointment or donate.