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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 end up being something his family was grateful to honor after he passed away two years later.

While beginning the process of donating the life-saving gifts Giovanni was able to give after he passed, his parents remembered that their attorney was on the National Wait List for a kidney. The LifeSource team inquired into the possibility of 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 honored others by making the decision to register as a donor. His parents honored him by following through on his decision to help others after his death. Giovanni has saved the lives of many and healed the lives of countless others just by checking the box and saying “yes.”

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.”

“I want other people who look like me to have a bigger opportunity to live.” – Dr. Rolanda Schmidt, Donor Mother

Rolanda shares that knowing Giovanni was a donor and saved and healed the lives of others is a “source of life” in itself.