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A Final Message from LifeSource’s CEO and Founder

Today is my last day as Chief Executive Officer at LifeSource. I want to extend my deepest gratitude to each of you as we have worked together on this incredible mission of saving lives and offering hope and healing. I am so proud of what we have accomplished together.

As I reflect on the past 33 years, what stands out are not my personal accomplishments, awards or even records-broken, but the people I’ve met – whether directly or through their stories – along the way.

One of those people is Alexa Kersting, a 7-year-old girl diagnosed with lung disease. She was placed on the transplant waiting list, but the call never came. She passed away before her 15th birthday. Over the past three decades, stories like Alexa’s have weighed heavily on my heart and motivated me to make this system better.

When I started LifeSource in 1989, there was little organized structure for donation. In the early days we used paper and fax machines to manage the process. Now we’re exploring and leveraging the cryogenic freezing of organs, drone transportation and “heart-in-a-box” perfusion technology. And we’ve grown to now supporting over 200 organ donors and more than 1,000 tissue and eye donors each year. The generosity of these individuals has created legacies beyond what we could imagine.

Peter Farstad will take over tomorrow as Interim Chief Executive Officer and will lead this organization with excellence, innovation and growth in pursuit of our Bold Aims. For over 20 years we have worked together, and I have full confidence in his leadership.

I’m handing you the baton. Find ways to advance donation and work towards a day where no more Alexas die waiting.

I intentionally picked March 4th as my last day as CEO of LifeSource because it’s the only date on the calendar that serves as a command. LifeSource, and the entire donation community, will march forth confidently into the future, with compassion and excellence.

With gratitude,

Susan Gunderson