Loved ones remembered at memorial for bodies donated to science

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Losing a loved one is heartbreaking but imagine waiting more than a year to finally say goodbye to that person.

That’s the case for hundreds of families whose loved ones made the decision to donate their bodies to medical research.

Saturday they finally have closure.

A bittersweet goodbye.

Laura Camacho lost her mom, Yolada, to pancreatic cancer.

But after her death, her mother was given a second life.

“She wanted to donate her organs but they were shot so the doctor said she could donate her body to UH so the medical students could study her body and she said sign me up,” shared Laura Camacho.

Yolanda became a silent teacher for the students at the John A. Burns School of Medicine.

Her body was used to study anatomy.

“These are actually the first patients we get to meet,” said Mary Rose Lansangan, event coordinator.

After the students finish their studies the donors’ bodies are cremated and a special ceremony is held in their honor finally their ashes are scattered at sea with their families and the students there to say goodbye.

“For us to learn such a close level with them so we wanted to do this for them to bring the families closure and to show them that we appreciate it,” said medical student Jessica Yuen.

An invaluable experience and a lifelong connection.

“If my mom’s cancer and what they learned could help prolong someone’s life. Can prolong someone’s life, then it’s worth what she did because she was a helpful person up until the very end,” said Camacho.

If you’d like to help out with this program, click here.

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