POCATELLO — Thanks to the generous support from the community, 8-year-old Jack Moser helped save potentially 101 lives in the month of October.
With the help of his mother, Amber Peterson, and his family, the animal cartoonist and monkey-bar enthusiast held the “Help Count Jackula” blood drive during the Halloween season, where he passed out fake blood drinks and ghostly gifts to all who donated.
“It’s gone really good,” said Jack. “We had fake blood and we had presents for people.”
This blood drive was one of several that Jack and his family have held since he was in a serious accident in 2020 while they were camping in Island Park. Jack was run over by a trailer being pulled behind a truck, and as a result, he spent 74 days at the Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City. Over the next few hours after his accident, Jack needed 11 units of blood.
“You never think you need blood until you need blood and Jack needed so much that night that if it weren’t for people donating, Jack would never have made it to the hospital to get surgery,” said Peterson.
Nowadays, Jack has greatly recovered and can be found hanging out at the monkey bars, drawing up cartoons of animals, and whipping around on his bike. He still has a few surgeries in the future, but Peterson said he’s as lively as ever.
“He’s a wild man,” she said. “There’s nothing that slows him down.”
The “Help Count Jackula” blood drive is the most recent of five drives the family has held since his accident as way to give back to the community that rallied around in support of Jack. In all, they’ve had 285 units donated and a little over 800 lives potentially saved from everyone’s donations, said Peterson.
“We were talking about how 285 units donated is not just our family donating but our whole community,” she said. “So we might host them and put them on and give back, but it’s really our family and friends and community who show up to these events.”
Yet the family didn’t stop at just holding blood drives. They’ve also held a “Jump with Jack” food drive at Geronimo’s Trampoline Park that brought in 1,650 pounds of food that went to the Idaho Food Bank. They’ve also held toy drives at Phil Meador Toyota where they were able to donate hundreds of toys, blankets, and clothing to the Primary Children’s Hospital.
Peterson said the support from everyone has been phenomenal, with many business owners donating buildings for venues and community members stopping by to donate items, blood and time.
“It’s not just about us and our family and Jack, it’s about this community,” she said. “We couldn’t have donated sixteen hundred pounds of food or thousands of toys or hundreds of bags of blood alone. This is the best community. People just show up and rally around each other and help each other…and we try to find easy ways to give back that’s not going to take a lot from people and (events) that we can make fun.”
Jack and his family are now eyeing two additional events they have planned for the upcoming future. The first one will be a food drive held between now and Christmas that Peterson explained will have a surprise Santa Claus and will involve some “fun and exciting” things, while the second event is a blood drive that will be held at the end of March with prizes and giveaways.
They plan to post to their “Help Jack Give Back” Facebook page with updates on each event and future events, and Jack plans to continue brainstorming ideas for the drives they hold and inject fun themes into each of them.
“Jack comes up with these…good ideas and then somebody helps us make it happen,” she said.
Since holding their first blood drive Peterson said it’s come full circle. Several people who’ve donated have used the app that informs them where their blood ends up, and one of their close friends said theirs was used at Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City where it all started.
“I’m super grateful to the people who do this all the time because you just don’t know when you’re going to need it,” Peterson said. “For some people it’s just donating blood, but for other people it’s the difference between having your child the next day. We get a tomorrow with Jack because someone donated blood.”