As Hispanic and Latino Heritage Month come to an end, we want to share another inspirational story of the difference organ and tissue donation can make in a community.
BJ Miller was an all-American boy: scholar, athlete, sports lover, football fan, devoted son. With his dazzling smile and caring heart, he was a big star in the small town of Sunnyside, Washington. He was well-known, and well-loved.
On October 12, 2007, three days after his 19th birthday, BJ was in an auto accident. When his parents, Daria and John, were faced with the despair that their son would not survive, they knew right away that they wanted to donate his organs. Prior to BJ’s accident, he had expressed his wish to save lives through donation, so their decision was easy. Already a beloved young man, that day he became a hero—by donating his organs and corneas he provided a second chance to six waiting recipients.
“We nurtured and raised the most giving, warmhearted, caring young man whose spirit of life was to live well, love much, and laugh often—that spirit continued throughout his 19 years of life,” said John.
Now, that spirit continues in the lives of those whose lives he saved.
Brenda Webb, wife and mother of twins, thanks BJ every day for her second chance. While waiting nearly six months for a liver transplant, Brenda and her family had to move away from their home so she could be near a transplant center in Seattle. Now, back at home in Tahoe, Brenda often reflects about the wonderful gift given to her by BJ and his family. “I think it might give BJ’s family a little peace of mind to know that they saved my life.”
BJ will always be a star to his family, friends, and community—and a hero to those whom he provided a second chance at life.
For information on the importance of donation in minority communities, click here