Peter was not quite 17 years old when his older sister Perri lost her life. The siblings grew up in a loving family in a small community in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado.
“We were typical siblings,” recalled Peter. “At a young age we fought about everything, but as we both grew up things changed a bit and we shared secrets, talked through our problems together, and had each other’s backs.” In the last few years of Perri’s life, they became closer than ever.
Perri was a strong-willed, spirited 20-year-old with beautiful blue eyes and an unforgettable smile. She played softball starting at a very young age and became a reliable centerfielder on a team she loved. Perri was attending a local cosmetology school with the intent of beginning her chosen career. Tragically, Perri died after sustaining injuries during a single-car accident on the street where she lived.
“Just as I could not have imagined my life without Perri in it, I also could not have imagined being faced with the decisions that would need to be made in the final hours of her life,” said Peter. Because Perri was a registered organ donor, Peter and his family were guided by donation professionals from Donor Alliance in the final days of her life. “They helped us make sense of all the details,” recalled Peter.
In July 2012, the first annual Perri Jaye Lang Memorial Tournament raised money for Perri’s namesake foundation, which awards a scholarship to a softball player entering her freshman year of college.
Peter and his family celebrate Perri’s gifts in life and in death.
“With time, I have realized what a great impact this unspeakably tragic event has had,” said Peter. “With the gifts from my sister Perri, three lives were saved and many others have been changed. To me, there is nothing more special than the gift of life.”