Just four months back from their honey moon, Jacquelin Clark couldn't believe what she heard: Doug, her 29-year old husband, had been tragically killed in a snowmobile accident.
“He was taken to Newberry Hospital, which is when Gift of Life called me. I wasn't with Doug when the accident happened. I was unprepared when they started talking to me about an organ and tissue donation, because neither of us had indicated our desire to become a donor, and we didn't know about the importance of the Michigan Organ Donor Registry. That’s when I understood the importance of signing up to ensure donation,” said Jacquelin.
Too much time had passed and Doug’s organs could no longer be donated, but his muscles, bones and tissues have been helping save and improve dozens of lives.
Jacquelin learned a valuable lesson through this ordeal and wants to make sure that others sign up on the Michigan Organ Donor Registry, which is why she volunteers at the Berrien County Youth Fair.
“Doug showed animals at the fair from the age of five. He volunteered in the Beef Barn as an adult. In honor of him, I get our family and friends to help during fair week. We have a booth, pass out information and talk to people about donation so they are educated and understand how important organ donation is to saving lives. People need to overcome their fears of the unknown in order to make an educated decision about organ and tissue donation.”
To date, Jacquelin has helped over 100 Michigan residents sign up on the Donor Registry. Even though she can’t see the benefits of her good work, she knows just as Doug gave the gift of life, those 100 donors she signed up could save the lives of many thousand more organ and tissue transplant recipients.
“That’s probably more people then the population of Buchanan, where I live. Doing this makes me feel good, to know Doug is being honored in this way, because once you meet a recipient, you really know the value of what organ donation has given them.”