SAN MARCOS, Calif. — San Diegans are being encouraged to donate blood this week in honor of a young South Bay soccer standout, Dante Longo, that died in a car crash in February 2022.
The Longo Strong Foundation, named after Dante, will be hosting a blood drive at his alma mater, California State University, San Marcos, tomorrow in honor of the Chula Vista native who passed at 24-years-old.
“He had an indomitable, indomitable spirit,” Dante’s mom, Kim Longo, said of her son to FOX 5. “He was a spark, he lit everybody up.”
A little less than four years prior to the crash that claimed Dante’s life, he was on his way to a soccer game on Apr. 7, 2018, when he was in another car crash that put him in a coma for seven days.
“It’s incredibly painful, but we’ll never not be thankful for the extra three-and-a-half years we had with him,” said Dante’s older sister, Brie Longo.
Ever since he woke up from the coma on Apr. 13, his family has celebrated the week as a sort of “re-birthday.”
To celebrate Dante, Brie also started donating blood to give others what he had so desperately needed during those seven days and began coordinating blood drives in her brother’s honor so other people can take part.
“As a very grateful sister, I would go give blood after his accident, because somebody gave it for Dante,” she said. “It was kind of my way of paying it back.”
Just one blood donation can save up to three lives, according to data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
It’s a cause the Longo family holds close to their hearts, and they hope that others will join in to help as this is the first “re-birthday” Blood drives since Dante’s death.
“When we have these blood drives, it’s a tangible way that we can point to people this is because of Dante that your loved one, lives,” Kim said.
The blood drive will be held at Kellogg Plaza on the CSUSM campus Monday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For those that can’t make it, donations to support the Longo Strong Foundation’s blood drives from anywhere in the nation at the nonprofit’s website.
In addition to these blood drives, the Longo Strong Foundation aims to help make fitness more accessible to others — something which they believed helped in saving his live in the 2018 car crash.