“That describes my brother, Tom, perfectly. His final act of humility was being a tissue donor, and in that way, he’s continuing to share his gifts with others so that they can shine.” – Susan Brandon
My brother Tom was a man with a quiet demeanor, great journalistic talent, and a wicked sense of humor. As a longtime Cincinnati sportswriter, he’d interviewed countless athletes and coaches, and attended more sporting events than he could count. Throughout his career, however, he remained the unassuming brother I’d known my entire life, who never forgot a birthday and remembered every silly joke we’d ever shared. After his untimely passing in November 2018, as his friends and colleagues shared story after story of his humility and dry wit with our family, it became obvious that he was most content when he could bring a smile to the face of another. The beauty of his humor – and his writing – was his ability to remain in the background, always showcasing the talents of those around him rather than himself.
Tom had never discussed organ and tissue donation with our family. Staying true to his kind and humble spirit, however, we quickly decided that donation would be a meaningful way to realize some good from tragedy, and donated his tissue and corneas. I know he’d be proud that he has improved the quality of life of others; that because of his gift of vision someone now has the opportunity to see the world and all its beauty. Our lives have been forever changed, but our silver lining is that Tom has been able to make a difference in the lives of others. It’s a comfort to know that he will have touched many lives long after his has ended.