Blood Recipient & Triathlete Brian Boyle Helps Raise Awareness About the Need for Blood This Summer

June 18, 2012

Brian Boyle, blood recipient and triathlete, will visit Minneapolis/St. Paul on June 26, 2012 to share his compelling story of triumph over tragedy to help raise awareness about the need for blood this summer. During a blood drive being held in his honor, at the Mall of America, he will be available from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. to thank donors and sign his published memoir of his journey back to life entitled Iron Heart. This event is a part of the national American Red Cross Live Life. Give Life. campaign which recognizes that while blood donations traditionally decrease over the summer months, the need for blood never subsides.

In July 2004, Brian was college-bound with a swimming scholarship. His life changed in an instant when a dump truck plowed into his car on the way home from swim practice. Brian lost 60% of his blood, his heart had moved across his chest, and his organs and pelvis were pulverized. He technically died eight times during his recovery. Doctors predicted that if Brian recovered, he might not be able to walk again and certainly would not swim. Against all predictions, Brian now participates as a competitive marathoner and Ironman tri-athlete and most recently fulfilled a lifelong dream when he crossed the finish line at the 116th B.A.A. Boston Marathon on April 16, 2012. Brian ran 26 miles to represent every year of his life as he celebrated his 26th birthday.

Brian credits his recovery to his doctors and to the Red Cross blood donors whose gift of life helped him beat the odds. “When I needed it, the American Red Cross was there with 36 blood transfusions and 13 plasma treatments that saved my life in a situation where time was of the essence,” said Brian Boyle. “Amazing medical care and volunteer blood donors helped make my recovery possible. By giving just a little bit of their time, blood donors helped give me the chance of a lifetime. It’s an honor for me to support the Red Cross and visit Minneapolis/St. Paul and share my story with the community.”

A video public service announcement can be viewed at along with Brian’s complete story.

How to Donate Blood
Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license, or two other forms of identification are required at check-in.  Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements. 

About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies more than 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or join our blog at