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The heartbreaking reason the Van Der Beeks partnered with American Red Cross

TODAY logo TODAY 5/11/2021 Kait Hanson

James and Kimberly Van Der Beek have been open about the devastating miscarriages they have experienced in the last two years, but now the parents of five are revealing the heartbreaking reason behind their new partnership with the American Red Cross.

The couple, who recently moved from Los Angeles to Texas, got candid about suffering back-to-back miscarriages in a new interview with People, and revealed both losses required blood transfusions to keep Kimberly alive.

Kimberly, 39, experienced her fourth pregnancy loss in November 2019 and her fifth in June 2020.

"My life was on the line," she told People. "What saved my life was blood transfusions, people who donated blood. Without them, I probably would not be here."

James, 44, said he never realized the vital need of blood donations.

"I never realized how important blood donations were until the woman I love most was in a situation where blood made the difference between life and death," the "Dawson's Creek" alum shared in an American Red Cross media release. "Every second to get that bag of blood is a big second. I'm just super grateful that blood she needed was available because people had donated."

James and Kimberly are parents to Olivia, 10, Joshua, 9, Annabel, 7, Emilia, 5, and Gwendolyn, 2.

Related: The former "Dawson's Creek" star knows about the pain and struggle that come with pregnancy loss, as he and his wife have faced it together three times.

Dr. Pampee Young, chief medical officer of the American Red Cross, said it's impossible to guess when an emergency that requires a blood transfusion may happen.

"While most people associate blood transfusions with accidents and other traumas, the reality is that blood is needed every two seconds to support all types of patients in the U.S.," Young said. "We are grateful to the Van Der Beeks and their courage to give comfort to others who have experienced similar losses and highlight the importance of blood donation."

Kimberly told People that the pandemic has created a blood shortage that might not be top of mind for everyone.

"Everybody has spent a year inside at home not thinking about donating blood, and that results in a shortage of blood available," she said. "Summer comes with plenty of reasons for blood transfusions. We support the Red Cross and this mission of giving blood."

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