BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. — Boynton Beach police held a blood drive Thursday to help a 5-year-old South Florida boy battling bone cancer.
Nearly 80 officers, firefighters and other members of law enforcement have signed up to donate blood and platelets in honor of Jacob Schwartz.
Jacob's father, Kevin, is an officer with the Biscayne Park Police Department in Miami-Dade County.
The blood drive was held by OneBlood from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Boynton Beach police headquarters.
Officers with the police department said even though they have not met Kevin or Jacob, law enforcement is all about family, and they are eager to help in any way they can.
Kevin Schwartz said his son had a rough start to life. He was born prematurely with a twin who didn't survive and spent 106 days in the NICU.
"He started fighting from the day he was born," Schwartz said.
Two of the four OneBlood buses on Thursday are taking platelet donations that will help with transfusions during Jacob's chemotherapy.
"We are not sure how many transfusions he is going to need or when exactly, but he will need them," Schwartz said.
"I have a 5-year-old daughter. She was born 10 days after Jacob was born. I saw his photo and it brought tears to my eyes," said Boynton Beach police spokeswoman Stephanie Slater.
It’s a beautiful day to save lives. Today, first responders are donating blood & platelets in honor of Jacob Schwartz, the 5-year-old son of a Village of Biscayne Park Police Officer. Jacob is battling bone cancer. We’ve got your back, buddy!!! 💙 #bbpdpride @my1blood pic.twitter.com/au59stNX01— bbpd (@BBPD) December 3, 2020
She said distance doesn't stop law enforcement from helping each other.
"It doesn't matter where Jacob and Kevin live. They could be 500 miles from here," Slater said.
Representatives with OneBlood said they are always in need of donations. Schwartz hopes others can take the time to donate to help save a life.
"There is so much need for blood donations, not just for my son," he said.