SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – The month of April is a special time for members of Utah’s donor community, designated as National Donate Life Month. April 30 was also Donor Remembrance Day. Donation represents both heartache for a donor family and joy for the recipient and their loved ones.
However, the option to donate can be a source of comfort to a family who has lost a loved one, becoming something positive in a very emotional and difficult time. This year, family and friends of donors as well as their recipients gathered at the Celebration of Life monument in Salt Lake City on Friday to honor those that gave the gift of life through organ, eye, and tissue donation.
Tameisa Powers, the mother of a donor joined ABC4’s Nick McGurk for an IN FOCUS discussion about her son, Lincoln who passed away in 2018 at the age of 19 from a motor vehicle accident. Powers and her family made the decision to donate his organs and tissues after his death, which ultimately helped six recipients. She talked about her favorite memories with him, how the idea of donating came about, how the donation helped her family in their healing journey, what it means to have his name on the Celebration of Life monument, and what her message is to the community.
David Robles, Director of Donor Family Services at DonorConnect talked about the background of Donor Remembrance Day, the bittersweet feelings that come with a donation for both the recipient’s and donor’s family and friends, how donations can provide a level of comfort to families that lost a loved one, the Celebration of Life monument, and the comprehensive support program they have to help donor families process and cope with loss.
Mark Dixon, Director Public Education and Public Relations of DonorConnect discussed the data on organ donations in Utah, who can sign up to be a donor, the impact of COVID-19 on donations, H.B. 272 to allow Utah to have a specialty Donate Life license plate, and how people can sign up to be a donor.
To watch the full IN FOCUS discussion with Powers, Robles, and Dixon, click on the video at the top of the article.
Catch IN FOCUS discussions with ABC4’s Rosie Nguyen weeknights on the CW30 News at 7 p.m.