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American Red Cross blood drive in Crystal Lake honoring fallen McHenry County Deputy Sheriff Jacob Keltner

American Red Cross blood drive in Crystal Lake honoring fallen McHenry County Deputy Sheriff Jacob Keltner

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CRYSTAL LAKE, Ill. (WLS) – A fallen McHenry County sheriff’s deputy was honored at a blood drive in the northwestern suburb of Crystal Lake on Saturday.

Jacob Keltner was killed on duty in March 2019.

“Jake believed in service to himself, and that’s how we can continue his spirit of giving,” said Deputy Keltner’s widow, Becki Keltner. “This trip means a lot to my family.”

This is the fourth year his wife has worked with the American Red Cross to host a blood drive at the Sage YMCA.

RELATED: Man sentenced to 55 years for murder of McHenry County rep in Rockford

“Every two seconds someone needs a blood donation, but only 3% of people are eligible to donate, so this is a great way to raise awareness,” Becki said.

Keltner received multiple blood transfusions after he was shot. Although he did not survive, it gave his family time to say their goodbyes and allowed doctors to keep his tissue, bones and heart valves viable for donation.

“Jake was able to save his organs and donate to other people, although sadly he passed his organs were able to save others,” said Meghan Kramer, a family friend.

The 35-year-old, the family says, has dedicated his life to serving his community. After his tragic death, his name still lives on.

“We had a great turnout,” said Becki, adding that more than 200 people signed up to donate.

“January 9th is Law Enforcement Appreciation Day and since Jake was in law enforcement this is just another way to honor him. Since Jake was also a donor prior to his death, this is the least we can do to give back,” said McHenry County Deputy Sheriff Jim Popovits.

ALSO SEE: Former ABC7 employees help save lives after retirement with the American Red Cross

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