The Ultimate Gift
At age 5, Sandy Kerutt of the Wheaton and
Lombard facilities was told she had juvenile
Even after the
was fortunate to
have many years
of good health
and a happy
In 1991, Sandy’s
health took a
turn for the
worse and she
was placed on the transplant list. “Even though I
had to start dialysis, I always kept a strong will
and did not let the process get me down,” said
Sandy. Her brother wanted to help and offered
her one of his kidneys, but he was not a match.
In August 1994, Sandy received the phone call
that changed her life. A kidney and pancreas had
been procured that were a close match. After a
successful surgery and recovery period, Sandy
celebrated her birthday with no more dialysis or
injections — and a big piece of birthday cake!
She says that most transplant recipients have
two birthdays, the day they were born and the
very special day when their life returns after a
successful organ transplant.
Sandy shares a special bond with another
woman who received a liver transplant from the
same donor. Neither will ever forget the
generosity of the family of a young girl who
gave them a second chance at life. Life truly
goes on for Sandy.
If you have had a personal experience with
donation and wish to share your story, please
contact Lisa Kirk at 312-814-8921 or
Each year, the Secretary of State’s office sponsors an Organ Donor
Poster Contest for Illinois students. The contest begins in September
and runs through the end of December. Winners are announced in
April during Organ/Tissue Donor Awareness Month.
Secretary of State Jesse White is pleased to announce that Jared
Richmond, age 7, from Riverdale Elementary in Port Byron, IL is the
2003 Organ Donor Poster Contest first-prize winner. Jared’s design
was chosen from among thousands created by students from across
the state in kindergarten through 12th grade.
Organ Donor posters with Jared’s design are posted at all facilities to
remind customers about the importance of organ donation.
Port Byron student wins
Organ Donor Poster Contest
LIFE GOES ON. BE AN
Secretary of State Jesse White
Gift of Hope Organ and Tissue Donor Network • American Red Cross Tissue Services • Mid-America Transplant Services • Illinois Eye-Bank • Heartland Lions Eye Banks
Organ/Tissue Donors Save Lives
2003 Organ/Tissue Donor Poster Contest Winner • Jared Richmond • Age 7 • Riverdale Elementary • Port Byron, Illinois
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