The event raises awareness for organ, eye, and tissue donation by threading together the stories of those who have given the gifts of life.
“It’s a beautiful representation of the stories of donation and transplantation,” Aimee Adelmann, director of education and outreach at Donate Life Northwest told KOIN 6 News. “It really is this beautiful ‘threading’ of all of our stories together and what connects us.”
The colorful quilt is composed of squares created by those impacted by donations. The squares share unique stories of generosity and strength, commemorating those who gave the ultimate gift.
KOIN 6 News spoke with one of the many Oregonians touched by this issue. Chantal Wright said her family contributed a square in honor of her late brother Austin, whose selfless decision to donate saved many lives.
“He was able to donate his heart, liver, kidneys, lungs, tissue and cornea. It’s a lot of gifts that saved a lot of lives,” Wright explained.
This past spring Austin’s family was granted Donate Life Northwest’s “Gift of Life” award. A special education teacher and major sports fan, Wright describes her brother Austin as compassionate and selfless.
“To be brave and move forward and pass your gifts of kindness and love to someone else — that will really matter ’cause that person has a ripple effect on the world and you don’t know what they might be able to do,” Wright said.
The quilt acts not only as a visual representation of those who shared their gifts but also serves as a reminder for the many still in need. “Donation is extremely rare and that’s why we need more people to register,” Adelmann said. “There is over 100,000 people currently waiting for that lifesaving transplant.”