Don’t Let Age Prevent You From Becoming an Organ Donor

2020-01-14T14:08:04-06:00August 2nd, 2019|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , , |

  As medical science continues to advance, the call for donated organs and tissues increases. Back in 1991, there were 23,000 people on the national transplant waiting list but in 2018, the number had grown to 113,000 men, women and children in the United States awaiting a transplant according to information from the Organ Procurement and [...]

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 [...]

Nikki’s Gift: A Lasting Legacy

2019-03-01T11:40:32-06:00February 1st, 2019|Categories: Blog, Donor Family & Recipients|Tags: , |

As a mother and a friend, Vicki Olds has a storehouse of love that knows no bounds. Her actions are proof of that. Faced with unimaginable loss at the unexpected death of her daughter, 18-year-old Domonique “Nikki” Smith, in June of this year, Vicki turned tragedy into triumph when she made the decision to donate Nikki’s [...]

‘Bench of Hope’ Dedications Honor Donors’ Lifesaving Legacies

2019-06-14T14:18:15-05:00January 29th, 2019|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , |

Family members and friends of four people who offered the gift of life through donation joined Gift of Hope representatives at special ceremonies held in recent months to dedicate memorial park benches —Benches of Hope — that honor the lifesaving legacies of these selfless individuals. Each Bench of Hope displays the donor’s name and the inscription, [...]

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 [...]

Kyle Shines On

2019-03-01T13:50:22-06:00January 3rd, 2019|Categories: Donor Family & Recipients|Tags: , , |

While on an annual family group camping trip, 16 -year -old Kyle Zuleg was killed by a falling tree limb while playing flashlight tag with friends in a forest preserve. Kyle’s family made the selfless decision to donate Kyle’s organ, saving five people. After his passing, Kyle’s family created the Kyle Zuleg foundation in his honor. [...]

The Legacy of Donor in Spirit Derrick Page Lives on Through The Lives He Touched

2018-12-13T15:21:14-06:00December 5th, 2018|Categories: African-American Task Force, Blog, Connections Newsletter, Donor Family & Recipients|Tags: , , |

If Derrick Page could’ve given his heart to his grandfather, Larry, he would have. That’s just the kind of person he was. In fact, the 23-year old Aurora University student was planning on registering as an organ and tissue donor, but fate stepped in, and he lost his life before he could sign up. Derrick died [...]

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, [...]

Julie Prangl: A Call No Parent Ever Wants to Get

2018-12-05T20:09:36-06:00October 4th, 2018|Categories: Blog, Donor Family & Recipients, For the Public|Tags: , |

When Julie Prangl took her son, Nick, for his driver’s license, they saw a sign for organ and tissue donation. It read: “I AM. ARE YOU?” Nick joked about recycling everything and signed up. This was important because Nick’s sister, Lindsey, was wait-listed for an ankle transplant. The family’s concern was always about Lindsey [...]

The 14: Alice Siete-Nevel

2018-12-05T20:09:39-06:00July 30th, 2018|Categories: Blog, Donor Family & Recipients|Tags: , , |

Alice, center with her grandchildren When her mother needed a kidney transplant in 1996, Alice Siete-Nevel of Garden Prairie, Ill., didn’t think twice about becoming a living donor. “Donating an organ to someone else is a big deal,” said Alice. “But back in the 90s, nobody talked about living donation and the idea of [...]


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