Posted by: donatelifeco | 12/22/2009

Robin, Donor Mother

Robin and her 22-year-old son Joseph were best friends and he was not afraid to let everyone know it. While some kids might be embarrassed that their mom worked in the high school cafeteria, Joe wasn’t. He would hug his mom in the middle of the school day. When he was diagnosed with epilepsy in the fall of 2007, Joe made a pact with his mom that whenever he thought he was about to have a seizure he would call her, as he always knew before it happened. On December 30, 2007, Joe called his mom at 9:45 a.m.

“Fortunately, I had not gone to church that morning, like I usually do, because I wouldn’t have gotten his call,” said Robin. “We were on the phone for 10 minutes when I heard the phone drop and Joe passed out.” Joe was pronounced dead on January 1, 2008.

Joe had discussed his decision to be an organ donor with his mom several months before he died. It came as no surprise to Robin and the rest of Joe’s family because he always tried to help others. Joe could light up a room with his boisterous laughter, his great big bear hugs, and his constant smile. His decision to register to be an organ and tissue donor at the age of 15 helped save and heal the lives of seven people.

Since Joe’s death, Robin has become an advocate working to educate the public about the need for organ and tissue donation.  She worked with the American Transplant Foundation to collect and enter signatures in support of the Donate Life plate, which became available for purchase on January 1, 2010 – the two-year anniversary of Joe’s death.

“I do this because it is how I keep Joe’s memory alive. It also helps me cope, which is one of the biggest things,” explains Robin.

Robin’s story was republished from Donor Alliance’s Web site.

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