Second Chance Blog


National Minority Donor Awareness Week: A Selfless Decision

In June 2014, Markita Lewis’ bravery and giving spirit allowed many lives to be saved.  When she received a phone call that her son, Marquis Wood, had been airlifted to the hospital, she knew that the prognosis would not be good.  She arrived at the hospital to be by her 13-year-old son’s side and learned that he had an asthma attack and went into cardiac arrest.  After Marquis was pronounced brain dead, Markita was given the option for him to be an organ and tissue donor.

Markita was diagnosed with lupus and learned that organ failure and transplantation may be necessary in her future.  When she shared this information with Marquis, he responded by saying, “Don’t worry, mom.  You can have my organs.”  Even at such a young age, Marquis was an extraordinary young man with a selfless and generous nature.  After he passed away, Markita honored his kind words by agreeing to donate his organs to benefit others. Markita said, “Having that conversation with Marquis before he died gave me the strength, on the worst day of my life, to make the decision to give the gift of life.”  Today, Markita is passionate about sharing her son’s story and has become an advocate for Gift of Life.  She is a member of Gift of Life’s Multicultural Affairs Coalition and has spoken to local churches and Philadelphia high school students about the importance of registering as an organ and tissue donor.

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