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Donor Stories

A smile is priceless “Una sonrisa no cuesta nada”

My youngest brother, Oniel “Oni” Peña was amazing. He was a believer in the St. Michael prayer, loved tattoos and eating arroz con guandules and pollo frito. He was also passionate about baseball and rooted for the Marlins and Red Sox.

Oni loved his son, Omar. Further, he was a devoted son, brother and uncle – he was my sons’ best friend and accomplice. Our family was incredibly proud when Oni and his girlfriend moved from Miami to Ohio for a better opportunity in 2015. We missed him terribly, but knew he was making a good life there.

Tragically, my brother passed away December 28, 2016 at just 40 years of age. Through our family’s immense loss, other families found great hope and joy. Oni was able to donate his corneas to restore the sight of two people and tissue and bones to heal more than 50 others. We’ve learned a man in his 50s from Ohio was the recipient of one of his corneas. We are hoping to one day meet Oni’s recipients.

Our entire family is proud of Oni for his decision to save and heal lives. We now look at things differently – we’ve learned you can give LIFE after DEATH.

My family encourages you to become an organ, eye and tissue donor as my brother was. Knowing he helped so many through donation – to us, that is priceless.


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