Giving Life a Second Chance
Through Organ & Tissue Donation

How Does the Donor Program Work?

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Gift of Life Donor Program works with hospitals and families throughout the region to help make transplants possible for thousands of patients.

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David Nelson Jr. Memorial Fund

The David Nelson Jr. Memorial Fund provides educational scholarships for children of deceased organ and tissue donors.

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Again this year, the Nelson family awarded scholarships to Gift of Life Donor Program donor family members. The four winners were each awarded $1,000 to pursue their education. The 2017 winners are:

  • Jessica Spangler - getting her Doctor of Pharmacy at Thomas Jefferson University. Jessica's father, Charles Spangler, was a donor in 2001.
  • Alexandra Kowalski - attending St. Hubert's Catholic High School for Girls in Philadelphia, PA. Alexandra’s father, Henry Kowalski Jr., gave the gift of life in 2009.
  • Tess Walsh - attending University of Delaware in Newark. Tess’s mother, Joan Walsh, gave the gift of life in 2014.
  • Maria Livecchi - going to DeSales University in Center Valley, PA. Charles Livecchi, Maria’s father, was a donor in 2015.

The Nelson family has provided these scholarships since 2009 and have awarded over $35,000 in scholarships for children of organ and tissue donors.

Join us for the 9th Annual David's Parrot Party Fundraiser on July 8! Find Details here!

David Nelson Jr. passed away suddenly in July 2006. During his journey, David’s compassion for others resulted in his decision to be an organ donor. Because of his courageous efforts, five other people have received organs necessary to save or improve their lives. While his loved ones continue to struggle daily with their grief, knowing that David was able to improve the lives of other people and their families eases their pain.

In his memory, David’s family and friends have established the David Nelson Jr. Memorial Fund. The Fund’s mission and purpose is to provide educational scholarships for surviving children of donor parents, in David’s spirit of compassion and giving. Awarding financial support to donor families provides an opportunity to “give back” to the true heroes – the donors – by supporting their children's educational goals.

The David Nelson Jr. Memorial Fund will annually award a $1,000 scholarship to a deserving child of a deceased donor parent or guardian. The funds will help pay for high school or college.

For more information, please visit The Fund's web site,

Application Criteria

  • Be a child of a deceased organ, tissue or cornea donor who was his or her parent or guardian
  • Be enrolled in a private or parochial high school OR presently enrolled in or accepted for the 2018 academic year to a 2 or 4-year college, university or trade/technical school
  • Reside in Eastern Pennsylvania, Southern New Jersey or Delaware covered by Gift of Life Donor Program
  • Be under 25 years old
  • Use scholarship award for continuing education at private/parochial high school, accredited college, university or trade/technical school certificate program during 2018-2019 academic year
  • Provide a brief statement summarizing academic ambitions and extracurricular and/or volunteer activities
  • Provide two letters of reference from a non-relative (i.e. Teacher, Clergy)
  • Provide current transcript and/or acceptance letter from high school, college, university, or trade/technical school

Applications for 2018 are now open! Deadline for applications is April 30, 2018. Applications must be postmarked by this date.

Download 2018 David Nelson Memorial Scholarship Application

2018 David Nelson Memorial Scholarship Application - 87.6KB
2018 David Nelson Memorial Scholarship Application

I Dash For: David's Parrot Party and A. Way of Life

Patty Nelson's life changed forever when she lost her son suddenly. But through her grief, she has inspired hundreds of young adults, and her community to raise awareness for organ and tissue donation, in memory of her son David, who was able to give the gift of life to his recipients because of the life saving gift of organ and tissue donation.

Find Related Info
Family Services, Donors, Organ Donors

Join Team Philadelphia:

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Register for the Donor Dash

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Donor Dash – April 15!

SAVE THE DATE! The 23rd Annual Donor Dash will be SUNDAY, APRIL 15 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art! Registration is now open.

The 2018 Donor Dash will feature 10K and 5K runs, a 3K walk, and a Kids Fun Run. This special event attracts people of all ages, abilities and fitness levels.

Register today:


Threads of Love Donor Quilt

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Explore the online quilts to view the quilt squares provided by the loved ones of those who died and gave the gift of life. The actual quilts are available for display in public places throughout the region to promote donor awareness.


iconRegister to Be a Donor

It’s easy to add the donor designation to your driver's license or state I.D. card. In Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. Sign up today!

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