My journey with LifeCenter began in 1995 when I was employed at NAPA Auto Parts. My co-worker, Jerry Dailey, received a kidney in 1975 and always expressed his gratitude to the donor who extended his life. After Jerry’s passing, I became a volunteer for LifeCenter.
Donation was something I talked about with my children. My youngest son David had juvenile diabetes, and I told him that I wanted him to receive my pancreas upon my death so that he would no longer have to inject insulin. I never imagined that David would pass away before me.
At the age of 31, David suffered from a seizure and was unable to get up or take in enough oxygen. When found hours later, he was unresponsive. After many tests over the next two days, the family learned that David had suffered brain death, and there was no chance for recovery. Because of our discussions about organ and tissue donation, we spoke to LifeCenter before honoring David’s wishes to be removed from life support.
I was with David when he took his very first breath on Christmas Eve in 1977. 32 years later and less than two weeks from his birthday, I was with David when he took his very last breath. David became a tissue donor and gave the gift of life. Since then, my husband Ruben has become a volunteer for LifeCenter also. And, much to the joy of our family, this Christmas Eve on David’s birthday, we are expecting a grandson to be born. The cycle of life is always turning.
– Ruth Mayo, mother of David Douglas, Tissue Donor