Burlington Family Raising Awareness for Organ Donation
People from across the country came to the QCA this weekend to support one area family.
The Brockway family in Burlington organized a 5-K race to raise money for the foundation they started in memory of their ten-year-old son who died in an accident this year.
The family started this foundation to spread awareness about organ donation.
It's a cause that's close to their heart and they say they'll take the thousands of dollars raised at Saturday's 5-K and put it all back in the community to raise organ donation awareness.
When the couple's son, Garrett, died just 18 days after his tenth birthday this winter, the family decided to donate his organs, and they say that decision has saved five lives and helped several others.
Now, they're on a mission to increase the number of organ donors across the country.
The US Department of Health and Human Services says there are 100 million people signed up to donate organs, but there still aren't enough donors in the country. They say 18 people die every day who possibly could have survived with an organ transplant.
The Iowa woman who was able to get a pancreas transplant thanks to Garrett spoke at Saturday's 5-K.
Both she and Garrett's family say they encourage all donors and recipients to connect on some level:
"When you receive the gift of life, just thank the family. That's the best thing you can do. To me thank you isn't enough. And meeting them is just a sense of relief," said Leslie Becker, the woman who received Garrett's pancreas.
"If there's anything I can recommend - it's for anyone who's a recipient of an organ, if you could please take the time to write the family. I realize most family aren't in our situation with our faith and understanding, but at least give the family an opportunity to learn how the gift of your loved ones have gone on," said Bruce Brockway, Garret's father.
The Brockway says it plans to organize another 5-K for Garrett's foundation next year.