Kari and me: A Story of Life and Love

2019-03-07T15:37:41-06:00March 7th, 2019|Categories: Blog, For the Public|Tags: , , , |

Editor’s Note: Steve Ferkau is a long-time friend of Gift of Hope and a staunch donation advocate. In 2000, Steve received the gift of life from Kari Westberg, a 17-year-old girl from Iowa, transforming his life forever. Steve recently shared his story at A Celebration of Hope, an annual event that Gift of Hope holds to [...]

My Head and Heart Were Never Touched By The Flames

2019-03-04T12:53:09-06:00March 4th, 2019|Categories: Blog, For the Public|Tags: , |

Burn survivor Tony Gonzalez Shares His Harrowing Journey From Trauma to Triumph    In 2000, Tony and his parents, Ernest and Marjorie Gonzalez, celebrated his birthday. That day Tony played nine holes of golf for the first time since his injury, a significant milestone in his healing process. C: What happened to you 22 [...]

Norwegian American Hospital Donation- Themed Mural Unveiled

2019-02-04T16:28:45-06:00February 4th, 2019|Categories: Blog, Donor Family & Recipients, For the Public|Tags: , , |

Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network and Norwegian American Hospital in Chicago unveiled and dedicated the donation-themed Give Hope – Give Life outdoor wall mural at a Nov. 14 ceremony. The mural is designed to raise community awareness of organ and tissue donation and honor the individuals and family members who have offered the [...]

Donor Mother Shares Story of Loving, Lifesaving Son

2019-08-01T16:59:59-05:00January 28th, 2019|Categories: Blog, Donor Family & Recipients, For the Public|Tags: , |

Izaiah, shown on his 15th birthday, was a loving, talented, caring, smart and determined young man, according to his mother, Irma. His loving and giving personality helped her make the decision to authorize organ and tissue donation, she said. Izaiah Franceschi was a vibrant, athletic and charismatic 15-year-old high school student at Maine West [...]

Gordon Harris Cherishes Second Chance At Life After Heart Transplant

2019-01-04T13:15:34-06:00December 5th, 2018|Categories: Blog, Connections Newsletter, Donor Family & Recipients, For the Public|

During their first meeting, Michael (left) heard the heart of his 17-year-old daughter Payton beating inside Gordon’s chest. Before receiving a heart transplant in fall 2017, Gordon Harris wasn’t sure he’d live to see his grand kids grow up. “Every day I’d look in the mirror, and all I could see was death [...]

Jessica Goodrich: A Daughter’s Journey

2018-12-13T15:18:38-06:00December 3rd, 2018|Categories: Blog, Donor Family & Recipients, For the Professionals, For the Public|

One of Jessica's father's favorite sayings was, "It's a great day to be alive." When Jessica was in high school, her father became sick. First it seemed like a cold. Then, maybe, the flu. But, after dozens of test, her father was finally diagnosed with liver failure. He waited nearly two years for a lifesaving [...]

“I Never Wanted To Be A Victim. I Wanted To Be A Survivor”

2018-12-05T20:09:32-06:00November 9th, 2018|Categories: Blog, Connections Newsletter, Donor Family & Recipients, For the Public|Tags: , , , |

Life for Jamie Nieto was typical in 2003. He was a 19-year-old sophomore in college, playing college golf, spending time with family and friends, and trying to figure out what he wanted to do with his life. But all of that changed on Nov. 8, 2003, Jamie’s 20th birthday. He went to the Franklin Park, Ill., [...]

Kelvin’s New Heart

2019-07-02T11:52:36-05:00November 8th, 2018|Categories: Blog, Donor Family & Recipients, For the Professionals, For the Public, Stories of Hope|

Kelvin Martin is many things. He’s a deejay (DJ Flash … watch out for him), a father, a husband and a heart transplant recipient. In the summer of 2013, Kelvin burst through the front doors of Gift of Hope for his first Advocates for Hope training. Since then, he’s inspired the Gift of Hope team with [...]

A Loving Mother Gives Life Lessons to Son, New Lessons to Others

2018-12-13T12:02:05-06:00November 2nd, 2018|Categories: Blog, Connections Newsletter, Donor Family & Recipients, For the Public|Tags: , |

Since the shooting that left him paralyzed from the waist down, Shawn has become one of Chicago’s leading voices in the anti-gun and nonviolence movements in the city. Frinda Harrington was everything to her son, Shawn. He remembers her as a loving, generous woman who, as a single parent of an only child, [...]

Rachel Dean’s Spirit of Giving Will Always Be Remembered

2018-12-05T20:09:33-06:00October 26th, 2018|Categories: Blog, Connections Newsletter, Donor Family & Recipients, For the Public|Tags: , |

As a donor in spirit, Rachel was a kind and compassionate person who left an indelible mark on the lives of those who knew and loved her. Rachel Dean was a source of hope and positivity for anyone who met her. The 25-year-old teacher and swim coach was always advocating for others and bringing [...]

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