2023 Scholarship Winner – Mollie Pearson
July 10, 2023
Indiana Donor Network Foundation awards $5,000 scholarship to daughter of local organ, tissue donor hero
North High School graduate a sophomore at University of Southern Indiana
CHANDLER, Ind. – Mollie Pearson was 19 when her father, Doug, suffered a traumatic brain injury. In June last year, the motorcycle he was riding collided with a pickup at an intersection in rural Warrick County.
Airlifted to an Evansville hospital in critical condition, Doug spent 10 days in the intensive care unit on mechanical support until doctors told the family he wouldn’t survive.
“The last thing I said to him was, ‘Goodnight daddy, I love you.’ He wasn’t awake and he never would be,” Pearson said. Her mother and three siblings made the decision to save lives through organ donation.
Doug’s liver and kidneys were successfully transplanted. His heart valves, corneas and skin saved and healed others and his pancreas was donated for research.
“I soon realized what his donations truly meant. My dad is a hero and he always will be,” Pearson said.
Indiana Donor Network Foundation has awarded Pearson a $5,000 scholarship. Each year, the foundation awards educational scholarships to deserving family members of Hoosier organ and tissue donors, transplant recipients, living donors and others. Recipients often become advocates for organ and tissue donation. The scholarships are funded by the foundation and contributions by Indiana Donor Network employees.
Those eligible for scholarships include both traditional and nontraditional students who submit an essay describing their career goals, experience with organ and tissue donation and transplantation, and personal goals.
“Since my dad’s donation, I have made it my life’s mission to promote organ donation,” Pearson said. “His donation made a tremendous impact on my family. We’ve all signed up to become organ donors and have convinced many others to sign up, also.”
Pearson, a graduate of North High School in Evansville, Indiana, is a sophomore at University of Southern Indiana studying business administration and entrepreneurship in small business.
Other scholarships awarded this year by Indiana Donor Network Foundation went to Ainsley Strothkamp of Carmel ($8,000), Faith Curry of Fort Branch ($6,500), Brodie Forman of Corydon ($3,500) and Erica Swaim of Noblesville ($2,000). Read about the other 2023 scholarship winners here.
Indiana Donor Network’s mission is to save and enhance the quality of life through organ and tissue donation and transplantation. Its vision is to be a leader in organ and tissue recovery. Founded in 1987, the organization coordinates donation in 85 of the state’s 92 counties and serves transplant hospitals throughout the U.S.
About Indiana Donor Network
The decision to become an organ, tissue and eye donor is a decision to give the gift of life. Indiana Donor Network serves as the vital link between donors and patients waiting for lifesaving organ transplants, healing tissue and corneas to restore sight. The organization is a federally designated organ recovery organization and accredited tissue bank serving 85 of Indiana’s 92 counties. Its team of more than 285 dedicated professionals is committed to saving and healing lives through donation and transplantation, championing the cause through education and outreach and supporting donor families in their time of need.
About Indiana Donor Network Foundation
As a subsidiary of Indiana Donor Network, the organ recovery organization for 85 of Indiana’s 92 counties, Indiana Donor Network Foundation enhances the lives of those touched by donation through education, innovation, caring and support. The Foundation raises funds through individual contributions, special events and sponsorships to support transplant recipients and the families of donor heroes.
Indiana Donor Network® and the Indiana Donor Network Foundation® are federally registered trademarks.
About Donate Life Indiana
Since 1998, Donate Life Indiana has been the state-authorized nonprofit organization responsible for managing the Indiana donor registry. Its mission is to save lives by creating opportunities for all Indiana citizens to sign up on the organization’s official state registry while striving to raise awareness for organ, eye and tissue donation and transplantation through public education.