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Life Is a Beautiful Ride

Special bike ride pays tribute to a young tissue and eye donor.

Eleven women set out for a bike ride on a beautiful afternoon in August. Their route took them from Minnehaha Falls to a garden along the river in North Minneapolis. This ride wasn’t the typical loop for exercise and conversation. It was special. A tribute.  

Lennae Grahn Norstog lost her 25-year-old son, Steven “Brice”, in a car accident one year prior; the group was riding to North Minneapolis where Brice’s name was inscribed on a bench and memorial wall in the LifeSource healing garden along the Mississippi River.  

Lennae’s friends planned this ride to honor Brice and his gifts of eye and tissue donation.  

“I needed to touch his name,” said Lennae.  “It was really powerful – it made me feel close to him.” 

Brice at MN Twins baseball game

The Next Michael Jordan

At a young age, Brice was a natural at every sport he attempted. Brice would throw a baseball for hours with his mom and won numerous bowling tournaments starting at the age of 9: a feat that earned him scholarship money for college. Lennae fondly recalls Brice riding in an elevator as a kid and introducing himself as “Michael Jordan” to another little boy. Sports were his connection to the world – and his family. As he got older, golf became a new activity for Brice and his mom and dad to enjoy together.

Checking the Box

Brice had registered as a “donor” on his driver’s license, something that demonstrated the type of person he was.

“He made a well-thought decision to become a donor,” said Lennae. “It made me so proud.

One tissue donor can heal more than 75 people and Brice’s family has heard from one of his recipients so far. His tissue helped a woman in need of a nose reconstruction to breathe – a surgery that changed her life.

Brice was also an eye donor, which is particularly special to Lennae. That’s because, the year prior, Brice had jokingly given himself the nickname “Stevie blue eyes”.

“The thought of those beautiful blue eyes still being out in the world means a lot to me,” said Lennae.

A Place for Continued Connection

The LifeSource Healing Garden was created as a peaceful and reflective gathering place. It is continuously blooming in spring, summer and fall in celebration of selfless organ, eye and tissue donors and their families. Lennae says she is grateful to have a place like this where she can connect with Brice and feel close to him.

“I couldn’t be happier having a place like that,” said Lennae. 

Colored pencil rubbing of Brice's name on memorial wall

The LifeSource Healing Garden is open to the public 365 days a year and located at 2225 West River Rd N, Minneapolis, MN 55411.

Want to be a hero like Brice? Register as an organ, eye and tissue donor online or at the DMV.