Dozens walk for organ donor awareness
Dozens of people took the walk for life Saturday morning in the memory of organ donors and those that received them.
It's been a tough couple months for the Pender family, still grappling with the loss of their son and brother.
"Four months ago, November 20th my son was 16-years-old, Nicholas Pender was walking across the street got hit by a car and passed away," said Eugene Pender, Nicholas's father.
But things get easier, knowing that Nicholas is living on through other people.
"We donated his organs, and his heart went to an eight-year-old little girl in North Carolina, his liver went to a 71-year-old grandmother," said Eugene.
Other organs went to five other people in need.
That's why they came out for a 5-k walk in his memory and others like him, joining organ donors, their families members and people who've received donated organs.
"It's our first annual 5k Walk for Life event to celebrate organ and tissue donation and life," said Carla Hawkins of LifeLink Georgia, who coordinated the event. "One organ and tissue donation can help save and enhance the lives of up to 60 people,"
People like Peggy Lyons who received a liver 10 years ago.
"Liver disease is such a devastating disease and I was just so blessed and fortunate to get a donor just when I needed one," said Lyons.
She got the liver from a four year-old boy killed in a boating accident. Lyons says she still keeps in touch with his family.
"It's an extended family that I have now, because they are a part of me and I am a part of them and their son still lives in me," said Lyons.
And for the families of these donors they're left with fond memories of how the ones they loved helped others.
"We are so proud of him. All he wanted to do was be a Marine. And he'd be the first one, if someone was drowning to jump in and try and save them in that way but he saved seven people's life right now," said Eugene Pender.