The gift of donation has always been important to Josh Stark’s family. His sister, Lacy Alonzo, is a Donor Family Services Coordinator at MTN. Their mother, Kim Reed, is a tissue recipient.
After a lifelong battle with mental health, Josh’s life ended in 2014. His family did not hesitate at the chance for Josh to become a donor.
“Donation changed his story,” Lacy said. “Suicide was how he died, but that is not how he lived. He was so much more than that.”
Josh’s life was marked by compassion and selflessness. Lacy describes her brother as a “stray collector.” “I don’t even know how many times he would come home with a friend who didn’t have anywhere else to go,” she said. “He didn’t want to see somebody doing without.”
Josh’s mother initially struggled that Josh could not donate his major organs, but as a tissue recipient herself, she realized the impact her son’s donation would have.
“I was wheelchair-bound before, so I know the difference donation made in my life. It saved my life,” Kim said. “He couldn’t donate his organs, but there is more than one way to save a life.”
If you or someone you know is thinking of suicide, call 988 or visit 988lifeline.org for free, confidential support.