On April 4, LifeCenter Northwest collaborated with the Governor’s office to present the Gift of Life Award to more than 120 organ donors who gave the gift of life in Washington state in 2018. Donor families gathered at the Capitol Building in Olympia with representatives from LifeCenter Northwest, Pacific Northwest Transplant Bank, and the Department of Licensing, and were presented with a certificate from Governor Inslee recognizing their loved one’s generous and heroic gifts of life.
The governor expressed his appreciation and respect for those sitting in the room, and their loved ones who gave life to others by expressing “what a treasure it is, and what an honor it is, for a family to be in this role call of heroism”.
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 Barbara Thompson, Hospital & Family Services Manager at Pacific Northwest Transplant Bank.
The Washington State Department of Licensing (DOL) addressed 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.
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, Governor Inslee acknowledged the difference it made in the life of his son, a cornea recipient, and how his transplant has enabled him to help others through his job at the non-profit, Outdoors for All. 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 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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