Donor Stories

Donor Stories

The gift of life through organ, eye and tissue donation has a lasting impact on donor families, recipients, recipient families and living donors. Read inspirational stories from families whose loved ones impacted the lives of transplant recipients through the generous gift of donation.

A photographic image of Chelsey Updike smiling into the camera while sitting in the driver's seat of a car.

Chelsey Updike

Chelsey Updike knew from a young age that she wanted to be an organ donor someday.

That day came unexpectedly when her 16-year-old life was cut short by a drunk driver in May 2021.

Photograph of Katharine Cooper sitting in a chair with a paisley pattern.

Katharine Cooper

Katharine Cooper was a wife, mother, teacher and trailblazer – licensed as the first Black person to open and operate a nursery school in Kansas City, Missouri.

After a life of giving to others, breaking barriers and shaping young minds, her gift of life-enhancing tissue was in line with the way she lived.

A headshot of donor hero Drew Hedrick in white shirt, black bow tie and suspenders.

Drew Hedrick

At 18 years old, Drew Hedrick’s life was just starting.

When Drew’s life was cut short suddenly and unexpectedly, his family’s only comfort was his choice to be a donor.

Read about recipients and the impact their donors made, or tell us about your own personal experience with organ donation.