Organ donors' families celebrate together

Posted October 17, 2010 1:09 p.m. EDT

— Approximately 300 family members of organ donors picnicked together Saturday to celebrate the good that came out of their loved ones' deaths.

Carolina Donor Services organized the picnic for the families at the Museum of Life and Science in Durham. Program coordinator Katie Paulson said that some families drove more than two hours to attend.

“This is a true testament to our families and the love, strength and compassion they exhibit in their daily lives," Paulson said.

Each family could design a quilt square to represent their loved one who was an organ donor. Quilters will knit the squares together.

"These quilts represent our heroes, the donors who so generously gave the give of life," Dawn Hall, marketing director for Carolina Donor Services, said in an email.

Gloria Brehm said the picnic fell on the birthday of her grandson, Justin Stewart, who was an organ donor.

“At first, I thought, 'No way. Oct. 16th is his birthday,'" Brehm said in a statement. "Then it came to me. What better way to celebrate Justin's life and the lives that continue because of him?"