On April 20, 1999, Kacey was one of several high school students involved in the tragic shootings that took place at Columbine High School. Kacey is a survivor, but had severe damage to her right hand, arm and shoulder as a result of a single shotgun blast.

Kacey sustained injuries that most often lead to amputation and doctors thought that course of treatment would be inevitable. That was until Dr. Ross Wilkins, Medical Director of the Denver Clinic for Extremities at Risk, suggested a different course of treatment that might save Kacey’s arm. Dr. Wilkins was able to use allograft tissue to replace the shattered part of Kacey’s shoulder, using what muscle and skin she had remaining to rebuild her shoulder joint.

Nearly 15 years and multiple surgeries later, though she has very limited use of her right arm, Kacey continues to be thankful for her gift of tissue and leads what she would consider, “a mostly normal life.”  In December of 2004, Kacey’s long-time boyfriend, Patrick, proposed to her during her participation as a float rider on the 2005 Donate Life Float, Many Families, One Gift, a part of the annual Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California.

Since then, Kacey and Patrick have been able to have a family and are parents to three adorable little girls. Whenever asked about her story, Kacey takes a moment to reflect but is quick to express her thanks to the family and donor she received her lifesaving tissue grafts from.

“I would love to meet the family of my donor,” Kacey says thoughtfully. “I would hug them and tell them thank you for the gift they gave to me. I was minutes away from possibly becoming a donor myself and to know that it has had—14 years later—a huge impact on my life and given me a second chance is unexplainable. I want to reassure others that donating tissue is lifesaving, not just life changing.”

Kacey is a hero and continues to inspire all those she encounters by sharing her story on local and national stages.

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Liam - Infant Donor

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Eva - Organ & Tissue Donor

“We are so proud of our daughter and hold her memory high in our hearts. Though nothing will ever replace our dear Eva, we do take solace in the fact that her loving spirit gave new life to six others.”

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Judy - Donor Mother

“Jake always made the choice to live, to love and to laugh. It is by the grace of God, the love of family and friends and the compassion of complete strangers, that we survived losing him…I choose to keep Jake’s spirit alive by facing each day just as he would have.”

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Peter - Donor Brother

“With time, I have realized what a great impact this unspeakably tragic event has had. 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.”

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Amy - Donor Mother

“I feel that I, too, am living again since Nicole’s death. Knowing Nicole saved so many lives through her gifts, I feel such peace and calmness in my heart.”

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Larry - Donor Father

“My son Tyler’s gifts will continue to give a better life to so many people; and knowing this has done so much for our family.”

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Catherine - Donor Wife

“The decision to give a better quality of life to another was not something I had to think twice about…My husband Brad was one of the most generous people I’ve ever met—to let his organs go to waste when they could save someone else would have been yet another tragedy.”

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