Chicago man hosts annual blood drive in honor of his father

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A Chicago man has made it his mission to keep the legacy of his dad alive by hosting an annual blood drive. It's his way to honor his father by giving the gift of life.

What started as the small neighborhood event is now one of the largest single day blood drives in the city.

You've heard the saying, one pint of blood can save up to three lives. For Mark Buciak, hosting an annual blood drive is about giving back and saving as many lives as possible.

"One reason why I wanted to do it is my father was a very giving person. His spirit was going to live on with me and with others. This is a very interactive event and those are probably the two main concepts I wanted to bring together," said Mark Buciak.

Buciak lost his father in 1996 and for the past two decades he's hosted a blood drive at Old St. Pat's in his honor.

"The drive has grown tremendously in the last 21 years. The first one we had 18 or 19 pints, now we have an access of over 100 pints in just one day," he said.

Over the years more than 1,000 pints have been collected and a countless number of lives saved.

"You can have a million excuses not to donate but there is only one reason to donate. To share the gift of life with others most in need. You will never meet the person whose life you're saving. You will never be thanked by that person but it is so important. There is only one source and that's you," said Buciak.

Next year Mark hopes to expand to holding two drives a year to help more people.

We will be once again hosting the ABC 7 Great Chicago Blood Drive.

The year's drive will be on January 10, 2018 at the merchandise Mart on the 7th floor. The second location will be at the Drake Oak Brook Hotel. The hours at both locations will be from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

You can donate blood every 56 days and as of Wednesday we are 56 days away from the Great Chicago Blood Drive. Register online here.

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