BENEFITING: Donate Life Connecticut
ORGANIZER: Donate Life Connecticut
EVENT DATE: Oct 13, 2012
Team Hoodie is running and walking with Donate Life Connecticut at this year's ING Hartford Marathon/Half Marathon/5K to celebrate the life of Bryan "Hoodie" Hood. Bryan was tragically killed at age 23 in a 2006 motorcycle accident and his loss was deeply felt in the Hartford EMS community where he worked as a gifted EMT, and he is incredibly missed by his family and friends in Marlborough and beyond.
As a registered organ and tissue donor, Bryan was a strong advocate for donation and his gifts of life at the time of his death saved and improved the lives of patients across the U.S. who were desperately waiting for a life-saving transplant.
Jim, the 51-year-old recipient of Bryan's heart was able to meet his first grandchild and has enjoyed his second chance at life while fishing (perfect match!) and writing music.
Tommy, the 47-year-old recipient of Bryan's left kidney is a proud husband and father who wrote to us "Your loved one is truly a hero in our eyes and must have been a very special kind of person..."
Dwayne, the 41-year-old recipient of Bryan's pancreas experienced freedom from Type I diabetes for the first time in more than 30 years following his successful transplant.
Netta, the 17-year-old recipient of Bryan's right kidney was not expected to make it to her 18th birthday and because of her transplant has since finished high school, college, and is now working on her PhD. She wrote to us, "I want you to know that everything I have done, everything I have been privileged to see and experience since October 28, 2006, is due to your generous decision. Thank you for my life."
Donate Life Connecticut works tirelessly to educate Connecticut's public of the important need for organ and tissue donors and the critical importance of registering as a donor. Through programs in high schools, health fairs, community and civic organizations, and public awareness campaigns, Donate Life Connecticut joins transplant recipients, donor families like ours, transplant professionals, and living donors in sharing this life-saving message.
As Bryan's sister I have had the honor to serve on Donate Life Connecticut's volunteer Board of Directors and have been serving as Chairperson for the 2012-2014 term. In this role I have had the privilege of sharing Bryan's story with hundreds of students and community members, some of whom have been so inspired by Bryan's gifts of life that they have gone on to register as donors as a result.
Bryan would be so honored to know his legacy is living on in the most powerful way possible: not only is his heart still beating, but his decision to be a registered donor has encouraged others to do the same.
Team Hoodie has participated in transplant awareness charity walks every year since Bryan's death and we have proudly seen our team grow each year as Bryan's co-workers, childhood friends, and community members continue to join us in celebrating his life. Here's to another wonderful opportunity to remember a man whose loyalty, friendship, and character is still so deeply imprinted on our hearts!
***To read more from the letters we've received from Bryan's recipients visit www.bryanhoodmemorial.com and click on Gifts of Life***