If you could save a life, would you? We are all asked this vital question at the DMV. Checking the box YES to be an organ or tissue donor means we are willing to selflessly pass on the gift of life to those desperately in need.

On Saturday, April 29, more than 240 people from across the Hawaiian islands came together to honor and celebrate their deceased loved ones who gave the gift of life to patients in critical need of a life-saving organ or restorative tissue. Hosted by Legacy of Life Hawai‘i, the Donor Remembrance Ceremony was held in Kaneohe.

The all-day, heartwarming event included reflections from an organ donor’s son, Sean Cervone, whose mother tragically passed away suddenly and became an organ donor. Sean Keoni Craig, a double lung and kidney transplant recipient, followed with a powerful Hawaiian chant to his ancestors and a heartfelt message of gratitude for his organ donor. He shared his hopes to one day meet the family of the donor.

Afterward, Tracy Lodge spoke about her beloved son, Brandon, who became an organ donor after he passed away suddenly after a traffic accident. She recalled fondly how Brandon was cherished for his generous spirit by his friends, family, and the Kailua community where he lived. In a touching moment, she was introduced for the first time to the grateful transplant recipient who received her son’s liver.

Donor families were invited to create a commemorative lantern in memory of their loved ones. On display in the ballroom were the five panels of the Hawaii Donor Quilt created in a heartfelt tribute to those who gave the gift of life and whose legacies live on in transplant recipients. The event ended with the poignant release of monarch butterflies, symbolizing the renewed hope that their loved ones gave to the many transplant recipients by consenting to organ and tissue donation.

The need for organ, eye, and tissue donors continues to grow, as it is a pressing issue. There are at present 322 patients in Hawai‘i suffering from end-stage organ failure and waiting for a life-saving kidney, pancreas or liver. More than 114,000 patients in the United States are in the same critical condition. To register as an organ, eye and tissue donor, visit registerme.org and help make a difference.

LEGACY OF LIFE HAWA‘I (501(c) 3 nonprofit)
405 N Kuakini St STE 810, Honolulu, HI 96817
808-599-7630 | info@legacyoflifehawaii.org
Legacy of Life Hawai’i is an organization in Hawai’i federally designated to recover organs and tissue for transplant; encourage organ donation through community outreach and education; and honor and support donor families by working closely with island hospitals to cultivate an understanding in community diversity that life is worth giving.