GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV)- After seeing the impact their son’s organ and tissue donation had on others, a Green Bay family is making it their mission to donate money to and raise awareness about the importance of organ and tissue donations.
The Higgins family lost their son Jase two years ago. Before he passed away, Jase had registered as an organ and tissue donor meaning his impact on the world continues even though he is no longer with us.
His stepmom, Julie Higgins, said they haven’t personally met the people who received Jase’s organs and tissues, however, they do receive letters from them including a letter from the daughter of a woman who received Jase’s eyes.
The daughter said that because of Jase’s selfless donation, her mother can now see her grandchildren for the first time.
“It makes proud and it made me know that Jase is living through her to see the world through his eyes,” said Higgins.
Wanting other families to feel the way they do, the Higgins family said they wanted to do something to raise money for organ and tissue donations. Julie approached her friend Trista Watermolen about hosting a fundraiser at the Juice Box Bar that she and her husband own.
“Absolutely we like to help the community any way we can, we like to raise money for a good event,” said Watermolen.
They decided to have a motorcycle ride. Riders pay to participate and can also take part in raffles. During the motorcycle ride, riders randomly draw playing cards at several locations and the rider with the best poker hand at the end of the ride wins a prize.
Julie said they raised over $2,500 and had about 50 motorcycles participate. This is the first year the Higgins family has had the event.
The money goes to Donate Life / UW Organ and Tissue Donation. This organization educates people on the importance of organ and tissue donations, assists people who are interested in signing up, helps nurses with skill-building workshops that teach them how to support families and patients going through challenging times, and funds the Douglas T. Miller Symposium which teaches doctors best practices for organ, tissue, and donations.
To donate follow this link.
Jase was also enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserves.