Frederick Reed

It was a typical night in dispatch, busy as usual. Around 1 a.m. we received 911 calls on a injury motorcycle accident at Peach/McKinley. I was thinking of my son Duke who was home on leave from the Marine Corp. He was visiting friends and riding his motorcycle. But, I was so sure he was somewhere safe.

It was no big deal, a typical night, a typical call. Only one big difference....this accident hit home!

Duke was a great person. During high school, he played four years of football, three years of wrestling, one year of swimming and was a member of the Weight Lifting Club. He joined the Marine Corp six months after graduating from high school. He graduated second in his class from the Corp out of 3,000 recruits.

He never gave up weight lifting and when he was 19-years-old, he was bench pressing 300 pounds. He weighed only 170 pounds. He wanted to be another Mr. Olympic. Duke was an extraordinary, self-taught artist. He could draw anything.

When the doctors advised us there was no hope, I looked at what had been a healthy 21-year-old with a lot to give to the world. I wondered why God had chosen my son. Then I found out why.

We were asked to consider donation. Duke's death was a tragedy. He was my only child. But he could give life to others. He has helped others return to normal healthy lives.

Losing a family member is something nobody expects to go through. But when it does, only God can hold your hand. He was definitely holding ours. God gives us life, He shall also take it away. But as an organ donor, you can give back the most precious thing anybody could ask for...Death for Life.

Joan L. Cafer