One Duluth first grader is thankful this holiday season for his older cousin, and the generosity of strangers.
Thanks to them, Jackson Beattie's life was saved, and he is now full of energy, loves to be outside, and use his mind.
Jackson just turned seven last month, but doctors were unsure if he'd ever make it to that age.
As an infant, he had a condition where his kidneys failed, and at just 20 months old, he needed new kidneys.
His older cousin Brett would come to the rescue.
Brett, a 20-year old college student, donated a kidney to Jackson.
"He understands what a feat it was, for someone to come forward and donate a kidney to him," said David.
With the help of a hero cousin, and the blood of strangers, Jackson survived.
"We got multiple transfusions of blood after that surgery, that helped with his recovery," said David.
Years later, Jackson is now stable, and staying active.
"Jackson's a crazy 7 year-old kid who loves baseball, soccer, playing outside, jumping on the trampoline, a bunch of crazy boy stuff. He's doing great, enjoying life, learning, he's in first grade and getting smarter everyday." said David.
And when asked what he wants to do when he grows up, he looks to his cousin for inspiration.
"Be an engineer like Brett," said Jackson.
KBJR 6 is teaming up with Memorial Blood Centers to host a blood drive on Monday, November 27th at our studios in Canal Park.
You can step up and help save a life from 1 to 7:30.