Blood drive held in honor of Naperville best friends killed at Astroworld festival

The drive also comes amid blood shortage due tot he COVID-19 pandemic, organizers said

ByMaher Kawash WLS logo
Sunday, April 10, 2022
Blood drive honors suburban friends killed at Astroworld festival
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A blood drive was held, amid a shortage due to COVID-19, in honor of Naperville best friends killed at the 2021 Travis Scott Astroworld Festival.

NAPERVILLE, Ill. (WLS) -- Loved ones are making the most of the tragedy that changed their lives five months ago.

Jacob "Jake" Jurinek and Franco Patino were two of 10 victims killed at Travis Scott's Astroworld concert in November as hundreds of others were injured in a stampede. Sunday, family and friends in Naperville hosted a blood drive in their honor.

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"They made such a positive impact on so many people while they were alive and just feel like they have more lives to impact and positively change, so we wanted to kind of create an event to help them do that and help continue their legacy," said Dr. Bridget Hyland, who is Jake's cousin.

More than 70 people showed up to donate blood, a special way to honor two best friends who called themselves "Superman and Batman."

"Continuing to keep Jake's legacy going and just, you know, a man that was full of energy and full of life, and what better way to come out and donate blood to save other people's lives," said Tim Gannon, a friend of the Jurinek family.

This blood drive is a fitting way to honor Franco and Jake. Loved ones said this is exactly what the two young men would have wanted. It also came at a time when blood is desperately needed nationwide because of shortages caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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"Businesses have not been back on site. High schools have not been in school either. So, that's impacted our blood by about 40%. So, we've had to find other methods to try to ensure that that blood is here for the community," said Amy Smith, area vice president of Versiti Blood Center Illinois.

Every drop of blood here will impact someone else's life, all while loved ones continue to celebrate the legacy of Jake and Franco's lives.

"Jake and I think Franco both are just such amazing guys and they helped so many people, so what's really helped us the most is just hearing the stories that people are telling us about them," Hyland said.