On April 11, LifeCenter Northwest collaborated with the Washington Governor’s office to honor more than 120 organ donors from the previous year with the Gift of Life Award at the Capitol building in Olympia. Of the 140 guests in attendance, many were donor families, who were presented with a certificate Governor Inslee recognizing their loved one’s generous and heroic gifts of life.
“It is a day where the entire state of Washington honors Washington heroes and Washington heroic families who have given hundreds of other Washingtonians a second shot at life,” Governor Jay Inslee proclaimed.
The event began with rose dedications in which donor families could write a personalized message of love, hope, and remembrance. A rose is a symbol of love, loss, and renewal, and parallels the emotions families may experience while grieving the death of their loved one.
With the rose dedications beautifully placed in vases at the front of the room, the ceremony opened with words from Kevin O’Connor, President & CEO of LifeCenter Northwest, and Mike Seeley, CEO of Pacific Northwest Transplant Bank.
They were followed by Governor Inslee, who recognized all those involved in the donation process, from the hospital staff to the donor families, and most importantly, the heroes that left a legacy through the generous act of organ donation. Having a personal connection to donation himself, he acknowledged the difference it made in the life of his son, a cornea recipient. He shared his gratitude with the families in the room for the ultimate act of kindness their loved ones gave and the hope they have given to their recipients.
The Washington State Department of Licensing (DOL) was also honored for their collaborative efforts to spread donation awareness. The high number of Washington residents registered for donation is largely attributed to the incredible dedication and support from the agency, with more than 99 percent of donors in the state registering through the DOL.
The ceremony concluded with the reading of each organ donor’s name and a moment of silence. Families then had the opportunity to connect with others in the donation community.
We are thankful for everyone who attended this event and made the day so special; unwavering dedication to donation advocacy serves as our motivation each and every day.
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Click here to view photos from the event
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