Whitko Career Academy flag-raising ceremony honors organ donors, recipients for National Donate Life month

April is National Donate Life Month and the Student Organ Donor Advocates (SODA) chapter at the Whitko Career Academy hosted a flag-raising on Monday to honor those who gave and those who received.

Posted: Apr 12, 2021 5:34 PM
Updated: Apr 13, 2021 8:26 AM

LARWILL, Ind. (WFFT) -- It’s an act that could save a life, and students at the Whitko Career Academy want to celebrate it.

April is National Donate Life Month and the Student Organ Donor Advocates (SODA) chapter hosted a flag-raising on Monday to honor those who gave and those who received.

One of those who gave was Sherry Leeman.

Her daughter, Emma Grace, died just before her first birthday three years ago.

Leeman and her husband chose to donate her organs, which have helped three people.

“One of those lives could cure cancer, one of those lives could become president,” Leeman said. “The sky is just really the limit.”

The event came on the three-year anniversary of Emma’s death.

Leeman said they wanted to do something special to honor their daughter.

“We wanted it to be more than just a visit to the graveyard,” she said. “And we really wanted to honor her. And the fact that this meeting, this event came today and an opportunity came for us to speak, was really her working again going ‘here Mom, go do this. This’ll be great.’”

Donors like Emma can have a significant impact.

Marti Cooper of the Indiana Donor Network said over 100,000 people are on the organ donor waiting list in the United States.

“One person who’s able to donate their organs and provide tissue grafts for transplants can actually help about 83 people,” Cooper said. “So it’s amazing the difference one person can make”

They help people like Jennifer Krider, who received a new kidney just over a year ago.

“The more donors we have the more lives are saved,” Krider said.

They also help people like Brandon Spice with the National Kidney Foundation in Indiana, who is also a two-time transplant recipient.

“To see these young people out here today raising awareness about the importance of becoming a donor is very touching,” he said.
For Leeman, it’s comforting to know a part of her daughter lives on.
“She doesn’t end. She keeps going and she’ll continue to keep going even as her child recipients grow old and have children of their own,” she said. “That wouldn’t be possible without Emma Grace.”

And she’s right. The sky’s the limit.

“We’ve always told [Emma] she could do anything she wanted to do and now she will,” Leeman said.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1005797

Reported Deaths: 16449
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1353572119
Lake663011164
Allen57820801
Hamilton46296464
St. Joseph44311613
Elkhart35888509
Vanderburgh32214480
Tippecanoe27898258
Johnson25056445
Hendricks23854359
Porter22890365
Madison18724409
Clark18540252
Vigo17449303
Monroe15242199
LaPorte15124250
Delaware15043261
Howard14719289
Kosciusko12285147
Hancock11709175
Bartholomew11602180
Warrick11287189
Floyd11082215
Wayne10965253
Grant10051220
Morgan9457176
Boone8913116
Dubois8263131
Dearborn820893
Henry8200152
Noble8017106
Marshall7916135
Cass7528121
Lawrence7447171
Shelby7176119
Jackson697289
Gibson6584115
Harrison647591
Knox6418106
Huntington6385100
DeKalb630699
Montgomery6252110
Miami592298
Putnam580078
Clinton574971
Whitley564255
Steuben560676
Wabash5324104
Jasper529879
Jefferson510297
Ripley499886
Adams481576
Daviess4670114
Scott438574
Greene424496
Wells423088
Clay422060
White418164
Decatur4164102
Fayette406187
Jennings386661
Posey376644
LaGrange357678
Washington357651
Randolph344499
Spencer339543
Fountain334760
Sullivan328652
Starke316470
Owen314170
Fulton309467
Orange293564
Jay284145
Franklin265443
Perry265352
Rush261332
Carroll261133
Vermillion257754
Parke231126
Pike228843
Tipton227559
Blackford192642
Pulaski183457
Crawford159223
Newton157848
Benton150217
Brown146147
Martin138219
Switzerland134911
Warren121016
Union107016
Ohio84513
Unassigned0540

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1511760

Reported Deaths: 23616
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1636861666
Cuyahoga1457252442
Hamilton1050421416
Montgomery737101254
Summit614971105
Lucas56058912
Butler51383711
Stark464421056
Lorain35443584
Warren32687373
Mahoning30598675
Clermont28106326
Lake26907443
Delaware24114162
Licking23820287
Trumbull22742556
Fairfield22309246
Greene22212320
Medina21941311
Clark19757351
Richland18500285
Portage17857250
Wood17394221
Allen15905269
Miami15487299
Muskingum14737185
Columbiana13940269
Wayne13722265
Tuscarawas12643304
Marion11906175
Scioto11432161
Pickaway11346141
Erie10811181
Ross10532198
Lawrence9725153
Ashtabula9658200
Hancock9649150
Belmont9262206
Geauga8906157
Jefferson8531197
Huron8338141
Union816557
Washington8066138
Sandusky7790148
Athens773676
Knox7679141
Darke7618155
Seneca7306144
Ashland6917126
Auglaize678097
Shelby6493113
Brown633387
Crawford6245130
Defiance6162103
Mercer612893
Fulton599296
Highland596899
Madison592176
Guernsey583468
Logan582795
Clinton581191
Preble5692122
Putnam5301108
Williams526185
Perry516563
Champaign510372
Jackson506571
Ottawa484086
Coshocton478783
Morrow456656
Pike432763
Fayette427461
Hardin416678
Gallia416266
Adams415392
Van Wert369579
Henry362571
Holmes3619123
Hocking355579
Wyandot322261
Carroll300659
Paulding279147
Meigs263350
Monroe214854
Noble198946
Morgan193232
Harrison180143
Vinton165125
Unassigned05
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