The parents of Nolan Burch will be at West Virginia University on Thursday, exactly five years after the college freshman died.
Burch was a Williamsville native, and graduate of Canisius High School.
He died after a fraternity hazing incident on November 14, 2014. Police say his blood alcohol level was 0.493% at the time of his death, more than six times the legal limit for an adult.
Since Nolan’s death, his parents have worked tirelessly to bring awareness to the dangers of hazing. They work – in their son’s name – to save lives.
They have been working on a major project that will certainly show what hazing can do – but it’s more than that. Kim and T.J Burch will be showing a documentary video geared towards educating students on the dangers of hazing and also reminding all to be aware of surroundings and to help when something is wrong.
Nobody helped Nolan.
A raw, real and emotionally charged documentary will tell the story – of this young man and hopefully save lives moving forward.
“Breathe. Nolan, Breath” was produced by City Drive Studios, West Virginia University, ANYONE Collective and Sugar Studios.
Hazed: The Nolan Burch Story was a long process. “How it all came about was by a guy named Dan Catullo,” Kim Burch said “He is the producer/ owner of City Drive Productions. He is an alumni of WVU and saw us on the episode of Dateline last year. From there things snowballed. WVU got involved and the documentary of Nolan became a reality.”
I asked Kim what this film means, “It means lives will be saved. It has been a couple years of working together to make this happen so it’s extremely gratifying!” The film is graphic, raw and real. The family hopes it serves as a reminder of what needs to be done – that someone should step up and help those in need. Always. No questions asked.
Tragedies like Nolan’s death are disturbingly common in America. According to data compiled by Hank Nuwer, a journalism professor at Franklin College, more than 200 university students have died from hazing-related accidents in the United States since 1838—40 in the past decade alone. For the Burch family and many others, it’s a problem worth fighting for. It’s 200 too many.
TJ and Kim Burch have teamed up with the University of West Virginia, where their son died, to help stop hazing. They work with PUSH – Parents United 2 Stop Hazing, they hold fundraisers and blood drives in their son’s name. They can’t and don’t do it alone they need the community to help. They need parents to talk with their children about things like hazing and responsibility.
According to Nolan’s parents, because CPR was performed that night – some of his organs were saved. Nolan’s liver, 2 kidney and lungs were donated. The Burch’s have met Michael the man who received Nolan’s lungs and Erin, his liver recipient, “She was able to live out her dream of being a pilot because of her transplant. She now is a pilot for United Airlines.”
The Burch family started a foundation in Nolan’s name – it’s called the NMB Foundation for his initials, yes.
But – NMB also stands for “No More Bullying” and “No More Bystanders,” which was set up to education students to do the right thing, stand up and be that one person to make a difference in a bad situation.
Faculty, staff and students of WVU will watch a special screening of the film this week and it’s hoped many other colleges across the country will also screen it for their staff and students. This film will save lives.
For screening requests, media requests or to request an event at your school or organization, please contact us at NolanDoc@citydrivestudios.com
The Burch family continues to amaze and inspire so many others into taking action. This is a problem for all of us – and the solution needs to come from all of us as well.