Families celebrate the gift of life from organ donations

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A second chance at life that was the focus of a celebration on the Windward side Saturday morning.

A large crowd gathered at the Presbyterian Church at Koolau. They were the families of those who donated and received organs for a second chance at life.

“And today we’re just remembering, providing comfort and peace and hope to a really extraordinary group of families from all over the islands,” said Felicia Wells-Williams, family services director of Legacy of Life.

It sounds so simple. families who have lost loved ones and donated organs to other families. For some, this is the first time the two families will meet.

“We have recipients who are here, who are sharing their gratitude on behalf of all recipients and we have a few families who are seated with the recipients who are recipients of their loved ones gifts,” said Wells-Williams.

Legacy of Life is the sponsoring organization of this gathering. The group had a tremendous impact on the Steinhoff family who lost their son Cameron in an accident two years ago.

“Every time we get a hug from them, I remember Cameron when he was in the hospital and as soon as I went to see him, I saw the first lady from Legacy of Life,” said Kathy Steinhoff, donor’s mother.

It’s impossible to describe the empathy between the two sets of families – the donors and the receivers of life.

“The question I’d want you to ask yourself is if you could save someone’s life at a time when you no longer need this body thatyou have, wouldn’t you do it? Wouldn’t you give a part of yourself to save someone else in our community? I know I will,” said Wells-Williams.

Me, too. Just because of the Steinhoff family.

“If any body ever loses a loved one I would tell them to come to this Legacy of Life to be a part of us, to have a second chance of life if they can donate their organs,” said Steinhoff.

A second chance, it could mean a lot.

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