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Personal Stories

The opportunity of the gift of life through organ donation has a lasting impact on recipients, recipient families, donors and donor families. Find out how these families persevered during their personal donation journey through their own perspectives.

Milford, DE Mother Heals through Daughter’s Organ Donation
Milford, DE Mother Heals through Daughter’s Organ Donation

For firefighter and EMT, Laura Mallow, one of the hardest challenges she ever faced was not being able to save her 17-year-old daughter, Brittney Ford. In December 2014, Laura was at the fire station decorating fire trucks for Christmas when she heard a dispatcher announce an accident. A pedestrian was struck by a vehicle – and they gave Laura’s home address.

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Family Keeps Son’s Memory Alive through Blood Drive
Family Keeps Son’s Memory Alive through Blood Drive

A lot can change in seven years, but one York, PA family’s pride and peace in their son’s decision to be an organ donor has not wavered. On Thanksgiving 2008, 20-year-old Zac Sweitzer was hit and killed by an underage drunk driver. His parents received a call at 6:00 AM on the holiday with news that no parent ever wants to hear.

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Flores Family Shows Generosity Through Donation
Flores Family Shows Generosity Through Donation

Easton, PA native, Austin Flores, knew how to make others laugh. His witty and likable personality drew people to him, and he was always surrounded by family and friends. Some people are just full of life and love – and Austin was one of them. He also believed in helping others, which is something that he was able to do in November, 2011.

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His Name Means "Gift of Hope"
His Name Means "Gift of Hope"

Cynthia London named her son Sipho Thembla - a South African name meaning "gift of hope." Sipho was my gift, and he brought hope to six other people at his death. Sipho was an organ donor.

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Little Collin Saves Five Lives
Little Collin Saves Five Lives

Never would I have dreamed that one day I would identify myself as a Donor Family member.

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Retired Army Major Overcomes Disease through Transplantation
Retired Army Major Overcomes Disease through Transplantation

New Jersey resident, Joe Pratt, is a hero for many reasons. He spent much of his life serving the United States as an officer and major in the Army for 20 years. He also had two tours in Vietnam and received a Bronze Medal of honor from the President of the United States. And, he was an instructor at the Airborne School in Ft. Benning, Georgia, where he served as part of the Parachute Infantry Regiment and trained paratroopers.

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Local Kidney Recipient Celebrates 50 Years with His Life-Saving Transplants
Local Kidney Recipient Celebrates 50 Years with His Life-Saving Transplants

Two transplanted kidneys and 50 years later, Havertown, PA resident, Stephen Henderson, is still going strong at 74 years old. On Saturday, May 14, approximately 40 of Stephen’s family and friends – some traveling from as far away as Oregon – will celebrate Stephen’s life and 50th “kidney-versary.”

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Three Local Women Share Special Bond, 25 Years after Receiving Organ Transplants
Three Local Women Share Special Bond, 25 Years after Receiving Organ Transplants

Over 25 years ago, Gabrielle Archangelo (Wilmington, DE), Joelle Atkinson (Franklinville, NJ) and Gabrielle Steiger (Philadelphia, PA) were fortunate to receive a second chance at life – life-saving organ transplants. Today, all three women are in their late 20s and living life to the fullest. Throughout the years, these women have become good friends and have shared many of the same life experiences. Although they have all gone on to create active and full lives, their one common thread – transplantation – still bonds them together.

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17 Years With a New Heart, Man Grateful for Gift of Life
17 Years With a New Heart, Man Grateful for Gift of Life

The life-saving power of donation reached Downingtown, PA resident, Chris Hagan, in 1998 when he was given a second chance at life – a new heart. Chris always had a healthy and active life. He was a volunteer fire fighter and an EMS practitioner. But it all changed when he was 33 years old...

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Wilmington, DE Resident and Two Time Kidney Recipient is Doubly Grateful
Wilmington, DE Resident and Two Time Kidney Recipient is Doubly Grateful

In 1983, Nanci Woodson was a senior in high school. She came down with what she then believed was the flu. After nearly two weeks of being sick and having a high fever, she knew it was time to go to the hospital...

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Delaware Heart Transplant Recipient Grateful for Second Chance at Life
Delaware Heart Transplant Recipient Grateful for Second Chance at Life

Newark, DE resident, Sonya Barkley, had what most people would consider a healthy, happy life. As a young person she was active, and played baseball, softball and volleyball. She had never been sick in her life, and didn’t know how devastating illness could be until she was in her 30s.

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The Gift of a Second Chance, More Than a Decade Later
The Gift of a Second Chance, More Than a Decade Later

When Philadelphia native, Laverne Clark, was in elementary school she started having tightness in her chest, shortness of breath and leg cramping. She was examined by doctors, but they didn’t find anything wrong with her. It wasn’t until nearly a decade later at the age of 19 that she was diagnosed with an enlarged heart. She was advised to see a cardiologist, but waited six months because she was in shock and denial.

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Delay = Death - Pass HB 30!

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Pennsylvania elected officials have a deadly pattern. Since 2014, they’ve blocked 28 people from becoming organ donors – after those people or their families made clear they wanted to give the gift of life. Help us pass House Bill 30!

 

National Donor Sabbath

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National Donor Sabbath, observed annually in November, seeks to educate faith-based communities about the need for organ, eye and tissue donors. Order free materials to celebrate National Donor Sabbath, taking place Nov. 11-13!

 

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.

 

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