(Last Updated On: May 1, 2023)
Portrait image of donor hero Tonya Buffington.

Tonya Buffington

Family was everything to Tonya Buffington — “Ton,” as her family lovingly called her. A stand-in mother for nieces, nephews, neighbors and friends, she was described as “the giving type.”

Tonya’s niece Jessi Brown recalls sleepovers at Tonya’s with her siblings and cousins piled onto her couches. “There was not a love like Ton,” Jessi said. “She had something very special, especially for not having her own children. It was a special kind of love.”

When Tonya passed, her family didn’t hesitate to say yes to organ donation even though she had not registered her decision.

“I think if she would have been able to voice and say ‘yes,’ she would have,” Tonya’s sister Christie Jordan, said. “That’s just her.”

Tonya’s family takes comfort in the fact that organ donation has given others more time with their families. Tonya’s family carries on her legacy by trying to keep her loving spirit alive within their own family.

 “She just had so much love, and you can tell that it’s gone with her,” Jessi said. “But now I have my own nephew, and with Ton as such a great role model, I hope I’m as good to my family as she was.”

Tonya Buffington’s Family

A large group family portrait photo of Tonya Buffington's family.

Pictured — back row, left to right: Erin Jordan, Tonya’s niece; Grace Jordan, Tonya’s niece-in-law; Baylor Jordan (in Grace’s arms), Tonya’s great-nephew; Rowdy Jordan, Tonya’s nephew; JoElla Brown (in Travis’ arms), Tonya’s great-niece; Travis Brown, Tonya’s nephew-in-law; Jessi Brown, Tonya’s niece; Taylon Brown (in Jessi’s arms), Tonya’s greatnephew Middle row, left to right: Jaida Kingfisher, Tonya’s great-niece; Tina Snell, Tonya’s sister; Roberta Sapp, Tonya’s mother Front row: Christie Jordan, Tonya’s sister