On October 2, 2014 several Board members of the Joshua Richards Charitable Foundation and transplant recipients had the opportunity to travel to Madison WI to present a check to Mike Anderson, Executive Director, and the hard working individuals at the UW Organ Donor Program. This program, like Josh’s Foundation, are both non-profit organizations and donations are always a blessing to continue with our goals.
This event brought many members of the UW Organ Donor Program and American Tissue Services Foundation together, some we knew from their participation in our events, some we knew only from correspondence, and lots of new and talented people who work hard to save lives everyday for us. This is committed group of individuals provide outreach, education and coordinate procurement of organs, eyes and tissue when one of us leaves and gives the greatest gift of all, the gift of life. Without them many more lives would be lost waiting on a transplant list. They are a top notch team that Mr. Anderson heads up and thank them for all of their teamwork.
Our great friend, and truly an inspiration, Matthew (age 7) was also able to present his check that had been donated by party guests during his last birthday. Matthew, the grandson of the lung recipient, selflessly asked his birthday guests to donate to the Joshua Richards Charitable Foundation in lieu of gifts and generated $660.00. Matthew and his entire family are our new heroes and are a shining examples that our future is in good hands.
In addition to Matthew, “Larry the Lung” and family and “Benny the Heart” with his beautiful fiance were also present and both shared heart felt words (no pun intended Benny) on what their gift has meant to them and their families. Meeting these recipients has been an honor and thank them for reaching out to us through the UW Organ Donor Program when we needed it. As a donor family, we think often about the recipients and are so pleased to have the opportunity to know them and watch their healing.
I was able to share my gratitude as well, and let everyone know how the organ donor program saved me following Josh’s tragic and sudden death. Had that horrible event been the last memory of Josh, I am not sure how we would have moved on through life. Instead, our lasting memories are of Josh, giving to others as always. He saved seven lives and restored sight for two and in the future will be helping many others with his tissue donation. I was the first recipient of his tissue only a few weeks prior to our visit thanks to the work of the American Tissue Services Foundation and Medtronic. We have learned that both ATSF and Medtronic continue on with their work and up to 50 other individuals all over the world may benefit from Josh’s tissue donation in the months to come. Josh’s still not done!
Our day ended with a beautiful cake thanks to Laura and best of all, watching Larry jog to his car!!
We want to thank all of our wonderful friends and family for participating in our fundraising events and the generous cash donations that continue to be received. This has allowed us to remember our beloved Josh and make our world a better place.