After their son's sudden passing at the age of 20 in 2013, Paul and Mary Beth Kupiec were compelled to keep Brandon's legacy going in a way they knew would reflect his caring and giving life. An avid blood donor since the age of 16, Brandon could continue to give through community support of a UNYTS blood drive named in his memory.
The third annual Brandon Kupiec Memorial Blood Drive and Basket Raffle will be held from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 6, at DeGraff Memorial Hospital, 445 Tremont St., North Tonawanda. All presenting donors will receive a free hot dog lunch and two flex-pass tickets to a Buffalo Bisons game.
Donating blood during the summer months is especially important, as this is traditionally a time when hospitals have an increased need for blood. The blood supply during the summer is most influenced by donor availability. When the weather turns warm and school is out, people head outdoors to enjoy family gatherings, baseball games, vacations and camping. While people get to take vacations, the requirement to always have blood available does not.
Those who routinely donate blood to Unyts do so on a 56-day schedule. When that schedule is interrupted, it creates shortages the agency has a difficult time dealing with during the summer months.
A typical donation equals one pint of blood, which has the power to save three lives. Unyts delivers blood to area hospitals 24-hours a day, seven days a week. Besides the use of blood for victims of accidents or trauma cases, blood is also used on a daily basis for people undergoing surgeries.
To schedule an appointment, visit www.unyts.org, click the "give blood" icon and enter sponsor code 002034, or call Mary Beth at 716-690-2088. Drop-ins are welcome.