We Dash for Richard
My son Richard was a quiet, perceptive young man. He was an athlete and animal-lover. He liked skateboarding, playing soccer and was a huge Cleveland Browns and OSU Buckeye fan. He had an older brother, Phillip, who he very much looked up to and who was his best friend. Richard was enrolled at Columbus State under the Preferred Pathways Scholar Program and wanted to major in neuroscience. Sadly, he was only in college barely a month before he died.
On September 28, 2013, Richard died of an accidental drug overdose at the young age of 18. His death came as a shock and a devastating blow. The only good that came from this tragedy was that Richard had decided to be an organ donor when he got his driver’s license. He was able to donate his eyes, heart valve, fascia, ligaments, bones and tissue the day of his death.
I received an anonymous “thank you” a couple of months ago from one of the tissue recipients, which touched my heart. The Central Ohio Lions Eye Bank told me that Richard’s eyes went to a 48-year old man and a 65-year old man. As I shared this news with my family, we all cried with joy knowing that Richard’s very tragic death was not in vain. I am grateful that my beautiful young son was able to help improve someone else’s life. The gratitude put a small ray of sunshine back in my life that day.
As my family and I are navigating these new waters, we have clung to donation and how much it can help save and heal the lives of so many. We are choosing to take part in the Dash for Donation, not only to pay tribute to our beautiful young man, but to the thousands of donors who have selflessly given their organs and tissue to help others. My friends, family and I are honored and proud to be part of this race with ‘Richard’s Team.’ His decision to be a donor has made a profound impact on many.