PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — April is Donate Life Month, and OSF St. Francis raised a Gift of Hope flag to celebrate those who have donated organs for those in need.
Gift of Hope is an organization that offers a middle point between those in need of organ transplants and organ donors.
Harry Wilkins, President and CEO of Gift of Hope, talked about why it is necessary to recognize those who have let themselves live on after death.
“When you have given that gift of life, you’re literally giving a part of yourself and donation cannot happen without the donor, and without the donor family, so it’s very. very important that we honor those heroes who have given that ultimate gift of life,” Wilkins said.
Donating organs can have a profound effect. Jamie Harwood, the Peoria County Coroner, shared his organ donor experience.
“I watched this person, who was in my life, debilitated from renal failure, literally come back to life, before my very eyes, she became a whole human again, it was the most incredible thing to watch,” Harwood said.
Those interested in becoming organ donors are encouraged to sign up on the Gift of Hope website. In the United States alone, there are over 100,000 people in need of organ transplants.