The TRI for Life was founded by 3 brothers that have taken up the sport of triathlon in memory of the youngest brother that lost his life to a car accident in 2003. Since the creation of TRI for Life, Inc., we have gained several sponsors and continue to spread our message across the country.
Saturday May 10th, 2003, the night before Mothers Day. Our family got the call that every family dreads. Our brother and my parents youngest of 4 boys had been in an accident. After a day of waiting, hoping and disbelief, our brother was declared legally brain dead at 7:10pm. During the 17 hours at the hospital we were approached with a question that my family never thought about. A Gift of Life Michigan representative asked if we would consider donating our brothers organs. Someone else could benefit from something that our brother could no longer use.
That night and on Mothers Day, our brother saved the lives of 7 people and benefited 100 more with his gifts of tissues and bone. In the months that followed, our family became a voice for donor families and started volunteering for the Gift of Life organization. We were trying to spread the message that organ donation saves lives. While the obvious voices for this is the actual organ recipients, we feel lucky that through organ donation, that we too have something to hang on too, something positive out of an indescribable family tragedy.
Within a year we met the recipient of my brothers heart, then the recipient of the right lung and then the kidney/pancreas recipient, then finally the recipient of the left lung. We have developed an unbelievable bond with our brothers heart recipient. We have spent several holidays together as well as weddings, anniversaries and just family get togethers. They have become a true extension of our family.
It was from this relationship and the blessings that organ donation has been for our family that we decided to do more. As brothers we have always been active and into athletics. Our brother was very interested and passionate about cycling. Triathlons seemed like a challenge and the cycling portion was a great tribute to our brother. It also seemed like a great community to spread the message of organ donation. The result has been a inspirational and motivating experience that has moved us and much as our story has moved others.
As 3 older brothers, we can honestly say we look up to our younger brother, he is a hero to a lot of people and to us.