On the night he was killed in a Cloverdale church parking lot, Matthew Skura had stepped in to help a friend who had been punched in a fight.
And now, five years after the 21-year-old’s death, his mom is hoping a blood donor clinic organized in his honour will allow her son to once again give back to others.
It was May 28, 2009 when Skura was hanging out with his friends. They’d been drinking and had a run-in with a group of teens who were also inebriated. Words were exchanged and then punches.
One of the teens charged at Skura’s longtime friend, knocking him out. When Skura pulled the attacker away, he was delivered a sucker-punch blow, sending him to the ground. Once there, another teen delivered what would prove to be a fatal kick to Skura’s head.
He died in hospital on May 29. In late 2010, two teens were found guilty of manslaughter in connection with his death.
Though it’s been five years, Skura’s mom Cheryl Vinall still finds that May is the toughest month as grief that she manages all year swells and becomes unbearable as the month goes on.
For several years now, she’s wanted to celebrate her boy, but every time she’d start to put the wheels in motion, she would be too overwhelmed with grief to continue.
This year, she managed, somehow, to muster the courage to contact Canadian Blood Services.
“Procrastination is a wicked force against grief,” says Vinall.
An all-day donor clinic is planned for June 22 in Langley. Vinall would love to see the place full of friends, family and anyone else who wants to make a blood donation and honour Matthew.
Skura, in his death, has already given back. His organs were donated, saving five people’s lives and providing sight to a sixth.
“All of those people needed blood to make his gift a success,” Vinall says.
The In Memory of Matthew Skura Blood Drive takes place June 22, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Blacklock Fine Arts Elementary, 5100 206 St. in Langley.
A yellow T-shirt with the words “Donate Life” and Skura’s signature enveloped in a heart will be worn by Skura’s family and friends at the clinic and there will be cake to celebrate the life of someone his mom calls “a beautiful young man.”
Anyone living in other cities across Canada can also donate anytime in Skura’s honour, quoting the Matthew Skura Partners for Life #INME497411 and their donation will be tallied in the total.
A Facebook group has been set up for more information at https://www.facebook.com/groups/1398565860402538