POSTED: Thursday, May 1st, 2014 ---- 5:20 p.m.
He puts a face on the importance of donating blood, beating the odds an overcoming cancer. Four-year-old Blake Rickert was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia at the end of last year- and since then has been fighting for his life. One thing that has helped save him, was blood donation.
The Rickert's lives forever changed five months ago when their only child became very sick. "It was right around Christmas time that Blake showed signs of influenza," said Blake's mom Jill.
Jill Rickert knew something else was wrong, so she pushed for more tests. The results came back as every parent's nightmare- cancer. Blake was diagnosed with Burkitt's leukemia, tumors in his stomach. A cancer that can double in size every 14 hours. "We were in shock. You just never think that will happen to your child," she said.
But after months of treatments and seven blood transfusions, "Super" Blake as his family calls him, was able to show his super powers by beating this deadly disease. Jill added, "Blake has been so tough through this and done so well." And his family has blood donors to thank for his speedy recovery. "It's such a wonderful way to give," she added. Now in maintenance mode, tumor free. And his life is being celebrated every day by people throughout the community, Friday by the Middleton Police and Fire Departments through a blood drive.
"Most children see firefighters as heroes or police officers as heroes and nothing can be further from the opposite. Where we see these children who are enduring on a daily basis a battle for their life, we see them as the heroes," said Sam Thomas with the Middleton Fire District. Also giving a reason to have a little friendly competition between departments. Middleton Police Chief Charles Foulke added, "we've developed a good rivalry with the Fire Department when it comes to softball and probably Friday when it comes to blood donations, who gives the most."
Now, Blake's future is looking bright; love coming from his family and support from the whole community. Jill added, "I see him being a dad and a grandpa; and I see him being very successful in whatever he does because he has been through a lot and he is so tough!"
The Middleton Fire District and Police Department will be hosting a blood drive at station one from 2pm-6pm on Friday. Everyone is welcome to attend and it's completely free to donate. To donate to the Rickert family, you can do so at any Associated Bank under Blake Rickert Fundraising Account.