San Diego Chargers fans gather to donate blood, meet favorite players

Chargers Blood Drive now in its 34th year

SAN DIEGO - Hundreds of San Diego Chargers fans gathered at the Town and Country Convention Center in Mission Valley Tuesday to donate blood and meet their favorite players.

Many fans lined up before the event even began.

"I had to have donated blood for myself before, so it's just nice to help other people in need," said donor Jessica Messenger.

Another donor told his story about why he has come every year for the past 12 years.

"We had a son in January, who passed away from germ cell cancer and he needed blood -- 10 pints. It's not what you consider a lot, but it was enough," said Larry Klespitz.

It was the 34th year of the Chargers Blood Drive, in partnertship with the San Diego Blood Bank. Although some fans were disappointed at how the Chargers have been playing this season, the team did not disappoint fans Tuesday during the event. Chargers players signed autographs for those who attended the blood drive.

Kicker Nick Novak and Long Snapper Mike Windt were among the first to greet fans.

"It's awesome, it's a great cause for Rady Children's Hospital -- for everybody," Windt said. "To help little kids everywhere that have issues that majority of everybody here [doesn't] have to deal with."

Since the event began 33 years ago, more than 65,000 pints of blood have been donated. 

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