Allentown locals Liz and Dave Kennedy share their personal story on the importance of organ and tissue donation.
During the holiday season, times of celebration and merriment can be overshadowed by the absence of those who are no longer with us.
At the young age of 19, David Kennedy, Jr. died in a car accident in 1992, a devastating loss for friends and family. Though heartbroken over the death of their son, Liz and Dave Kennedy found peace in their son’s immeasurable gift of organ and tissue donation.
Through David’s tissue donation, he enhanced the lives of more than 45 other people. David’s parents felt comforted and proud that his selfless act benefited so many others and have since worked tirelessly to share information about registering as an organ donor.
In her role as a nurse at the Lehigh Career and Technical Institute, Liz uses her position to educate her students on the importance of organ and tissue donation. Liz and Dave continue to share their story with students in local Allentown high schools and with others in their community. Through educating the public on organ and tissue donation, Liz and Dave honor their son’s legacy and generous gift.
David Jr. was not the only member of the Kennedy family to benefit the lives of others through organ donation. Liz’s nephew, Jonathan Kennedy, and her brother-in-law, Greg Kennedy, became heroes who donated organs and corneas after their passing in 2015 and 2019, respectively.
“We know the great good that [David] did for other people,” Liz stated. “We have that in our hearts, they helped these 45 people from our son, five people from Jonathan and two people from Greg. They are alive in other people and making their lives better, that is really heartwarming to us.”
There are currently more than 100,000 people on the national waiting list for an organ transplant. Consider giving the greatest gift of all by registering as an organ donor this holiday season. The gift of life is a selfless act that could benefit the lives of several others in indescribable ways. To learn more about organ transplants and becoming an organ donor, visit https://donatelifepa.org/about-donation/.