We rolled into Methodist Dallas Medical Center for our first LSCOL event and I instantly noticed Kelli James and Damian from Southwestern Transplant Alliance (STA) greeting us in from the curb. Damian rode with Pat O’Brien and me last March on our TOT 4.5 ride.
I then found the family I was riding for today, Joe Banks, Jr.
Joe Banks, Jr. – Organ Donor
“My son passed away May 24, 2022 – absolutely unexpected! During the time of his hospitalization, my daughter and I were informed that Joe had elected in 2014 to be an organ donor. Ironically, this timing coincided with the death of my husband who had been a kidney recipient in 2013 and my older sister, also a kidney recipient in 2007. I can’t be certain if these incidents influenced his decision because my son has always been such an unselfish, generous individual that whatever prompted his decision, I was not surprised but very proud!
In view of the exceptionally high numbers of people of color that daily need organs to be donated and the disproportionately lower number of donors, Joe’s decision and the subsequent number of lives positively impacted by his choice to be a donor convicted my heart of the need to spread the message, dispel the many myths surrounding organ donation in my community and continue Joe’s desire and choice to be an organ donor to as many people as I can.
I’m so honored that you would select my son to honor in the Lone Star Circle of Life Bike Tour – thank you!”
~ Sylvia Dillard
Sylvia, Joe’s mother.
Sylvia spoke from the viewpoint of a person that saw her husband and sister receiving a kidney and her son as a deceased donor.
When I offered the piece of paper with Joe’s name on it to Sylvia containing a short note thanking her for greeting me, she became very emotional. I was ok until I started speaking about meeting Hugh and then introducing Sylvia.
Every rider and their Honoree were introduced and had the opportunity to share a portion of their story. Sylvia and I weren’t the only ones that shed a tear today.