Blood donors create Belle Plaine 'superhero'

BELLE PLAINE, Minn. - If you've never met a superhero, you're in for a treat.

Chatty and imaginative, five-year-old Austin Overline of Belle Plaine, has been fighting bad guys since he was three-and-a-half. His arch enemy, acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

"You never think your child is going to get any kind of cancer or disease," said Andrea Gerres, Austin's mom. "Then when you find out they have one your world stops at that moment."

No parent wants to see their child fight bad guys.

And Austin wasn't always a superhero. Before his diagnosis, he had fevers and had a hard time walking. Once diagnosed, he was poked with a lot of needles. Then he got his first blood transfusion.

Hoping to empower him, Austin's dad, Justin Overline, told him he was getting something special.

"I just tried to tell him, 'That's superhero blood and it's going to be really special for you, buddy. It's going to help you get really, really strong, like all the superheroes have, and that's why they're really strong and really special.' And right after that, he was OK with it," he explained.

Because of blood donors, Austin has just what it takes to put up a fight. Four whole blood and two platelet transfusions have kept him strong.

Austin will continue to get chemotherapy for one more year, which he says helps him, "Smash all the bad guys!"

Superhero Austin is using that, and his superhero blood, to bring those bad guys down.

Health Fair 11, along with Memorial Blood Centers, is holding a blood drive Tuesday, March 18, at our Golden Valley Studios from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. No appointment is needed.

Donors will get free samples from Fork in the Road and Simply Steve's food trucks. One lucky donor will win a 50-inch flat screen television.

For more info on the blood drive, click here.


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