We’re so proud to work with each and every one of our staff members here at Donor Alliance. In our Staff Spotlight, we like to take a minute to let you learn more about who we are and why we work at Donor Alliance. Keenan Heyde, a Donor Alliance Donation Consultant, has a rich personal and professional history with helping others through donation. Keenan works with many of hospitals in our area and says that he sees “the beautiful” in every day working at Donor Alliance.
Name: Keenan Heyde
Position: Donation Consultant
Years at Donor Alliance: 14
Why I chose to work at Donor Alliance: I worked for Bonfils Blood Center and had been a long time blood and platelet donor and wanted to broaden my experience in the donation world by working with tissue donor families. I was hired as a Tissue Donor Coordinator is March 2004.
Why do I like working at Donor Alliance: I work with so many talented and passionate people at Donor Alliance and my donor hospitals. I learn so much from those colleagues and am inspired by the incredible stories of our donors, their families and recipients. It seems as if every day sees some sort of beautiful and inspirational story at Donor Alliance.
What does donation & transplantation mean to you? I think of the Donor Family Tribute (DFT) and its theme “lives transformed.” Our donor families are often going through one of the most difficult moments in their lives. The loss of a beloved family member or friend can be devastating and traumatic. Organ and tissue donation can alter their experience by helping them support a legacy of the life of their loved one and the gifts they give to others. On the transplant side, the recipients receive these incredible gifts from these donors and families and complete the cycle of the donation.
Any direct connection to donation & transplantation? I was a long time platelet donor when I was asked to do a granulocyte donation. I was basically a direct match to a child undergoing cancer treatment who needed this particular type of white blood cell infusion. Knowing my blood cells were going to a specific recipient, especially a child, was an “a-ha” moment for me. That is when I really saw the connection between donors and recipients and changed the course of my life. It was at that point I made a commitment to find a career in the transplant world.
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working? I like to hike, walk, ride my bike and spend time with my wife, son, friends and three dogs.