Jakob Ash, a 31-year-old Army veteran and donor, inspired a movement of kindness from people around the world with a viral #justforjake hashtag that was memorialized on social media.
When Jakob’s parents, Danielle Hillman and David Ash, learned of their son’s status as an organ donor, they said “that is so Jake.” On the day of Jakob’s donation, they posted an ask of their family and friends: Do something kind for someone else in honor of their son’s giving spirit.
“On Sunday, Jake will donate every organ he can to those in need,” wrote David Ash. “We are asking that you do a small act of kindness on Sunday, the day he will give life to so many. We are calling it #justforjake. Please spread the word and let Jake’s legacy spread across the world.”
Jakob was taken too soon. He choked on a piece of hard candy and was found unresponsive by his roommate. Jakob was rushed to the hospital, but it was too late. He would not recover.
LifeCenter Northwest and Jakob’s healthcare team at MultiCare Deaconess Hospital in Spokane, Wash., coordinated an honor walk where staff, first responders, family and friends lined the halls to accompany Jake for his final act of kindness.
Because Jakob was a registered organ, eye, and tissue donor, his passion for helping people continues to live on in the four lives he saved through the donation of his heart, kidneys and liver. He also restored the sight of two older adults with the donation of his corneas. Many more continue to be healed by his tissue donations.
Jake’s mom, Danielle Hillman, shared that Jake never hesitated to live his life to the fullest. He loved to travel, and he was always on a hike or embarking on a new adventure with his loyal sidekick, Axle, a 7-year-old pit bull terrier mix, right by his side.
Hillman continues to honor her son’s life-saving legacy by sharing “acts of kindness” business cards that tell her son’s story. She wants people to continue to do kind things like Jake always did.
“Jake loved so many people; he was so kind,” Hillman said. “I want to keep that going.”
You can honor donors like Jacob by registering your donation decision and sharing this decision with your family. Learn more about Jake and the movement he inspired in this special media clip.