March 16, 1995 - February 25, 2018

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I would like to dedicate my tribute to all the many people who have made the selfless decision to become organ donors.

Last week, my son, Joseph Cheek, died tragically in an automobile accident.  He would have turned 23 on March 16th and was a devoted, wonderful father to 2 little boys, as well as a loving son.  I didn’t know he had chosen to be an organ donor because we never discussed it, but with his big heart, it didn’t surprise me.  Within a few hours of Joseph’s death, I received a call from LifeLink, who reviewed his decision, but also gave me and his dad an opportunity to back out, if we wanted to.  I felt like if Joseph had made that commitment, we should honor it.  As heartbreaking as this whole situation is, I take comfort in knowing that he was able to help others with his gift.  My son was young and strong; I learned later that his beautiful blue eyes, as well as his arm and leg bones were used to benefit people who need them.  My husband is the recipient of organ donation, and I think about how we would never have met, had it not been for the sacrifice of another man.  I’m sure his family was overwhelmed with sadness, as I am now, but their son and mine will live on through others, and that gives me peace.  I encourage anyone reading this who is not already an organ donor to consider becoming one the next time your driver’s license is renewed.

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