Brandon Kupiec, a graduate of North Tonawanda High School, was an avid blood donor since he was 16 years old. He knew the importance of giving back, which is why his family recently teamed up with Unyts Aug. 3 at DeGraff Memorial Hospital to host a community blood drive in his memory.
Brandon passed away in 2013 when he was only 20 years old. A good person with a bright future ahead of him – his life was taken away far too soon, so each year his family finds ways to give back in his honor.
“The goal is having Brandon live on through others donating on his behalf,” said MaryBeth Kupiec, mom. “Summer is a difficult time of the year, the need for blood is so real, there just is no substitute, one has to give for one to receive.”
This year the drive collected 98 pints of blood which included 19 first time donors! To date, 650 units of blood has been collected in Brandon’s name. Another one of Brandon’s passions was welding, so the Brandon R. Kupiec Memorial Scholarship was started to give a local high school student who shares a passion of welding a head start in college.
This year’s recipient was Justin Manth who will be attending the Niagara County Community College Welding Program. Justin surprised the Kupiec family by attending this year’s blood drive.
“What a wonderful surprise it was,” said MaryBeth.
If you would like to learn more about donating blood locally, visit www.unyts.org.