Live On: Giovanni’s Story
“It’s beauty. It’s a gift. It’s a divine blessing. I encourage every single individual to do the same.” Dr. Rolanda Schmidt, Donor Mother.
Giovanni was an 18-year-old high school Senior who loved to build things. His curiosity and brilliance would have him building makeshift rockets just to see if he could get them to fly and could piece together 2000+ Legos in a few hours. He loved macaroni and had an entrepreneurial mind from the age of five.
When Giovanni was 16, he checked the box on his driver’s permit application to be an organ, eye and tissue donor. This decision would offer his family something positive after he passed away two years later.
While beginning the donation process after Giovanni died, his parents remembered that their attorney was on the National Wait List for a kidney. The LifeSource team inquired about Giovanni being a donor to this family friend and shortly Giovanni’s parents received a phone call.
In tears, the familiar voice on the phone said “I’m so sorry for your loss….Giovanni is a match.”
Giovanni helped others by making the decision to register as a donor. Giovanni’s mother, Rolanda, reflects on his amazing gifts by sharing: “It’s beauty. It’s a gift. It’s a divine blessing. I encourage every single individual to do the same.”
Giovanni’s mother, Rolanda hopes that more people, especially people of color will consider registering as donors. She explains, “When more people that look like me give, it gives other people the opportunity to receive that organ. And I want other people who look like me to have a bigger opportunity to live.”
Rolanda shares that knowing Giovanni was a donor and saved and healed the lives of others is a “source of life” in itself.