More than 120,000 individuals are on the national waiting list for an organ transplant, reports Randa Lipman, manager of community outreach for the Mid-South Transplant Foundation Inc. in Memphis.
“Sadly,” she said, “18 people will die every day waiting.”
This Saturday, Dec. 14, at 6 p.m., Elton Butler and Darnell Williams II Endowment will present an Organ Donor Awareness Program for the Darnell Williams II Endowment Fund. The event will be held in the dining room of the Marvell-Elaine High School.
A tragic automobile accident cut short the life of 17-year-old Darnell Williams. Those who knew and loved the young man described him as having integrity and embracing a compassion for all people. When approached about organ donation, Darnell's family knew that he would have wanted to donate his organs because he received so much joy from helping others. In death, his gifts saved the lives of three people.
A scholarship fund was established in memory of Darnell, the son of Clausey and Sandra Myton of Marvell. The scholarship is given to a graduating Marvell-Elaine senior that most exemplifies Darnell's character.
Darnell attended the Marvell-Elaine School System from kindergarten through the 12th grade.
The year prior to his death Darnell was quoted as saying, “It is my desire after I graduate from college, reach the height of my educational career and be gainfully employed, is to donate a portion of my salary to some deserving American to continue their educational goal. Prayerfully, the cycle will go on and on.”
“Gratefulness is what we desire to express,” stated the Mytons in a prepared statement. “First, to our heavenly father for allowing us to have a son and brother like Darnell. We know that he would have wanted to help someone have a better quality of life. Helping others was his character.”
Besides the Mytons and Butler, other program participants will include Marvell Mayor Donald Cutlip, Dr. Andrea Denson-Means DDS, attorney Dion Wilson and Greg Jackson of the Mid-South Transplant Foundation. Butler is a 14-year heart recipient survivor who has contributed to the welfare of children in the Marvell community for years. He has been instrumental in providing a safe environment for many of Marvell's children. Ironically, Butler was Darnell's baseball coach.
Butler's purpose in participating in this program is to express his gratitude for the quality of life that he has experienced as the result of Darnell's generous gift of life.
You can register as an organ and tissue donor whenever you get or renew your driver's license, permit or state I.D. or visit midsouthtransplant.org.
MSTF is a not-for-profit federally designated organ procurement organization for the Mid-South region.