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For Families Considering Organ Donation

Nothing can prepare us for the loss of a loved one. We at Gift of Life Donor Program wish you comfort, peace and support during this difficult time. Many families find hope in the ability of their loved one to heal others through the extraordinary gift of donation. The heroic legacy of each donor is something for their family to cherish. The resources below explore how organ donation is the ultimate act of compassion and generosity.

Donor mother Cynthia London: “Organ donation saves lives.”

When her beloved son Sipho Themba passed away, Cynthia London chose to honor his goodness and devotion to others through organ donation. Sipho’s life-saving legacy saved six lives. In this video, Cynthia talks about “the hope and love” this brought to her family.

Religious and cultural perspectives on donation

All major religions support organ donation as one of the most powerful expressions of compassion and generosity. In this video, donor families and recipients talk about the meaning and humanity of this decision. See below for more information.

Gift of Life’s continuing support of families

Donation is just the beginning of a family’s relationship with Gift of Life. We are dedicated to supporting families throughout their grief journey and honoring the heroic legacy of their loved one. Find more information about our counselors and programs. 

The Gift of Life Donor Medal is a remembrance for those who helped improve the lives of others through organ, eye or tissue donation.
The Gift of Life Donor Medal is a remembrance for those who helped improve the lives of others through organ, eye or tissue donation.

Profiles of courage, gratitude and generosity

Helping others is Timmy Nelson’s way of showing gratitude to the donor and family that saved his life.

“I’m alive today because that family made that decision,” Timmy says.

A man in formal attire poses for a photo.
Kidney recipient Timmy Nelson

Learn more about the special bond Arlinda Griffin has developed with Mary Smith, who made the decision to donate her son’s Eric organs.

Organ recipient Arlinda Griffin, left, and Mary Smith, the mother of Arlinda’s donor hero.

Rafiah received a life-saving liver transplant as a toddler and lives a healthy life today. When Rafiah’s mother passed away, she became a donor hero who transformed the lives of strangers through precious gifts of corneas and tissue.

When a rare illness put Zach in the hospital, the only treatment was a heart transplant.

Zach’s mother Sarah says, “I will never forget the donor who saved Zach’s life.”

Heart recipient Zach Reesey

Rickey Colomy tragically passed away at the age of 21, but his mother Dawn Ortiz says her son “lives on” through organ and tissue donation.

Dawn Ortiz, left, honors Rickey at the Gift of Life Donor Dash.

After tragedy brought them together, Carol and Kareem realized they shared a special bond through their faith and the life-saving legacy of organ donation.

An EMT and mother to a young boy, Stacey Rodenas is alive thanks to her donor hero.

“Their sacrifice and their struggle is something that helped me get back to my normal life,” Stacey says.

Thanks to a donor hero, Stacey’s son “got his mom back.”

Derek Fitzgerald is an Ironman and a father who has never forgotten the donor that gave him a second chance at life.

“My body may be the vehicle, but I know that nothing is possible without your engine,” Derek says.

Heart recipient Derek Fitzgerald

Additional Information