Zion Desmarais made beautiful music singing bass in his high school chorale and all-state chorus. He was an honor student, manager of his school’s baseball team and part of an award-winning team of emerging leaders and entrepreneurs. A friend described him as “kind, loving, selfless, humble and strong.”
Zion became a hero when he saved and healed lives through organ, tissue and cornea donation at age 18 after a long battle with sickle cell anemia.
“It’s what he wanted to do,” said Zion’s father, Michael Desmarais. Michael’s sister saved four lives as a donor when she died as the result of a tornado. Her legacy inspired Zion to register as a donor when he got his driver’s license.
Zion’s parents are proud of the powerful impact he made in life and proud of his life-saving legacy as a donor. Hundreds of classmates and community members attended a service for him at his high school stadium in Delaware.
Zion’s mother, Linda, was reassured by the “tender, beautiful” care he received when he was hospitalized for five days before he passed. “When he passed on, we were pulverized. Not just broken. Pulverized,” Michael said. “It was Gift of Life that really helped us through that. They understood our grief.”