PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Many people rolled up their sleeves in remembrance of fallen Philadelphia Fire Capt. Matt LeTourneau.
“Carol’s blood drive kind of threw it out there and said, ‘Matt’s donated here before’ and said, ‘What if we do one drive in Matt’s name?'” Luke, Matt’s youngest brother, explained. “I said, ‘Well, if we are going to do one, let’s make it big.'”
So, instead of one blood drive, eight blood drives happened on Tuesday, with hundreds of people donating blood, potentially saving a life — a fitting tribute to a man who lived and died doing that.
Luke added that’s what Matt would’ve wanted, saying he was a “go big or go home” guy.
Without the unfortunate day last January, Matt’s family says he would’ve been donating blood, which is what he did regularly.
Instead, Luke gave blood in Matt’s shirt, to bring a piece of him along for the moment.
Matt’s girlfriend Mary Kury did the same, and then volunteered her day at the drive.
“I’m working the hospitality side of the table, greeting donors post donation because Matt, being a fireman, likes his food and he always had a nice time checking out the spread,” Kury said. “So, it’s kind of a way for me to give back and think about him.”
It is still hard for the fallen firefighter’s family to think about him, but it helps doing something positive in his honor and seeing the community get on board.
“I think he would probably be a little overwhelmed with how many people are doing this for him and he would probably be like, ‘It’s not that big of a deal; you don’t have do this for me,'” Michelle Chiano, Matt’s sister, said. “I know if it were for anybody else he would be first in line.”