Lauren's Love 5k group photo

Celebrating Lauren’s Love at the Indiana Donor Network 5k

On a beautiful day in August of 2017, my daughter, Lauren, and I proudly walked in the Indiana Donor Network 5k in Fort Wayne. We were there to celebrate and recognize a friend’s husband who was an organ recipient. What we didn’t realize at that time is how different life would be one year later. As we walked the family fun route, Lauren ran around with pure joy as she Read More »

Mikel Kelsey

Memories of Anniversaries

A week ago, I was running on our high school track in the morning. The air was still cool, but humid. The sun was rising in the east. I had the place to myself to think and prepare for the day.  The athletes on our girls cross country team would be arriving soon, and our morning practice would take place. The beginning of a new season was upon us. As Read More »

honoring at the 5k

Honoring Our Donor Hero at the 5K

Our son died at the age of 22 in 2017. He was an organ donor and that opened the door to the miraculous Indiana Donor Network. Through the aftercare support team at Indiana Donor Network, we had the opportunity to meet Joe’s liver recipient, Kim. Joe’s liver saved her life. We had not yet met her, but we had exchanged contact information and had a phone conversation. Our family wasn’t Read More »

remembering athlete at 5k

Remembering an Athlete at the Indiana Donor Network 5K

My son, Thomas Walls, participated in five different sports throughout his short life: baseball, soccer, wrestling, football and ice hockey. He also learned to sail as a teenager. He loved the physical challenge and the sense of competition. He was not always the star player, but the time he spent sitting on the bench was dedicated to learning the game and supporting his teammates. In successful wins or disappointing losses, Read More »

happier times

How Organ Donation Changed Everything for a Donor Sister

“Her organ donation helps me cope with her death, knowing that a part of her is still living with us, and being able to see her recipients live their lives to the fullest.” – Krista, donor sister  There are many types of relationships in the world, but I think the one shared between siblings is something special. I am fortunate to have an older brother in my life, but the Read More »

Reliving Vacation Memories

Reliving Vacation Memories After Death of a Loved One

Sand, water, MLB games, MLS soccer games, putt-putt golf, euchre tournaments, multiple trips to the ice cream parlor, walks on the beach, reading books while sitting in the sun, collecting shells….just a few of our favorite vacation memories. The majority of our trips did take place in the sunshine state of Florida or at least originated in one of their popular ports. Warmth, sunshine, water, the four of us and Read More »

Mikel Kelsey

Father’s Day: Donor Family Blog

By: Mark Mikel, October 2017 I would like to say that the first Father’s Day after Kelsey’s death was the hardest. But I cannot. They are all hard, and to rank which is the hardest is impossible to me. I remember that the most important thing for me on that first Father’s Day was to have the entire family together. I did not care where we went, what we did, Read More »


Handmade Hope: A Donor Family Perspective

By: Julie Brommer, Donor Mother Handmade Hope is such a beautiful way to remember a loved one. Our family was a little overwhelmed when our son passed away 3 years ago but I remember getting an invitation to the Handmade of Hope and thought what is this and why are they sending us an invitation to this. We decided to go and it was amazing! The staff at Indiana Donor Read More »

Brothers Day

Brothers Day: A Donor Sister’s Time for Celebratory Reflection

“Brother and sister, together as friends, ready to face whatever life sends. Joy and laughter or tears and strife, holding hands tightly as we dance through life.” – Suzie Huitt I never knew my brother was my best friend. I never knew that a day would come that I would have to face life without him. You see, since the day I was born, he was always there. Bryan was Read More »

Cherie Godfrey

Coping with Grief During the Graduation Milestone

My mom, Cherie Godfrey, was an organ and tissue donor in 2014. Before she gained that title, she was an incredibly devoted mother. I remember her being fully present in every significant stage and milestone of my life—learning to read, middle school (in all of its horrid glory), cross country and track races, national honors society induction and high school graduation. When we weren’t physically together, we talked on the Read More »