Otwinowski still making an impact
Former Slicer Matt Otwinowski continues to shine.
Otwinowski has done many substantial things on and off the field, but one of his best deeds would be when he donated his stem cells.
In the springtime of 2017, Otwinowski’s University of Buffalo football team signed up for the Be The Match Program, a nonprofit organization that is aimed towards helping people get life-saving transplants they need. The players filled out a questionnaire and did a DNA cotton swab test. The odds of being a match was only one in 430.
Fast forward two years into the springtime of 2019. Otwinowski received an unexpected phone call. He had matched with a 66-year-old man with myelofibrosis, and the man was in need of a stem cell donation to prolong his life.
After confirmation of being a match, Otwinowski received several shots for five days leading up to the stem cell donation, starting one month after finding out he was a match. Following his final shot on April 22nd, Otwinowski had to undergo a seven hour procedure, and the man received the stem cells the next day.
“It felt great knowing I was able to help a stranger prolong his life and give him the opportunity to spend more time with family and loved ones,” Otwinowski said.
While going through all the processes of bone marrow, Otwinowski was busy on and off the field, raking in many accomplishments over the last four seasons.
Otwinowski was named three times to the Academic All-MAC team and was also 2019 COSIDA Academic All-District. He earned the 2018 MAC Distinguished Scholar Athlete, 2019 William V. Campbell Trophy Semi-finalist, 2019 Wuerffel Trophy nominee, 2019 All-State Foodworks team nominee, and was 2019 team captain, with 76 tackles, one interception, and 3.5 tackles for a loss his senior season.
Otwinowski’s highlight of his college football career was his final football game playing Charlotte in the Bahamas Bowl, with a winning score of 31-9.
“Overall the bowl experience was a memory of a lifetime,” Otwinowski said.
Outside of football, Otwinowski is most proud of being able to stay true to himself and to his faith during college along with the chance to be involved with several community service opportunities during his time in Buffalo.
Otwinowski’s success could have been predicted early on. He was a stand out at LPHS in many ways including earning a 4.0 GPA and being a State runner-up for the Slicers.
Otwinowski has not forgotten where he came from and where it all started for him. LaPorte High School helped shape him into the person he is today.
“Great coaches, teachers, and mentors at LaPorte High School taught me how to develop great habits, have a consistent work ethic, and always look for opportunities to better myself academically, athletically, and as a person. Valuable lessons learned at LPHS have carried into all aspects of my life so far,” Otwinowski said.
After college is over, Otwinowski plans on interning with the accounting firm EY this summer in Indianapolis. He will then be pursuing his masters degree in accounting and financial management.
Regardless of where Otwinowski’s path ventures, his impact and leadership skills are sure to lead the way.