Alexa’s Hope became an official 501(c)(3) nonprofit charity in May of 2009. However, Monica and Loren, Alexa’s parents, have been involved with this cause speaking nationally, regionally, and locally since January of 2005, just 6 months after Alexa died. Monica and Loren have a special passion for this cause and by sharing Alexa’s story they have made a difference on many levels.
Helen Bottenfield, Executive Director, Organ Donation and Transplantation Alliance said, “Their voice, Alexa’s voice, has impacted all of us, but more importantly, has saved many unknown patients from a needless death on the wait list. The Kerstings would tell you they are NOT Champions…..I believe we would all beg to differ. Alexa lost her fight to live, but her legacy of HOPE continues!”
Monica founded Alexa’s Hope in honor of her daughter who died awaiting a lung transplant. As a new charitable corporation Alexa’s Hope exists to end the waiting list for organ donations, such that no person in need of an organ transplant is denied due to a lack of available organs. Initial emphasis will be placed on pediatric transplant issues. Alexa’s Hope is committed to increasing the number of consent donors and removing obstacles that hinder organ donation and transplantation. Creating awareness is the single most important course of action in ending the waiting list and saving lives.
It is “Alexa’s Hope” that one day soon no child, no person, will die awaiting a life-saving transplant, because the answer to organ donation is always, “Yes”.
As of October, 2013 more than 120,000 Americans are candidates on the UNOS (United Network for Organ Sharing) wait list. More than 18 people die each day awaiting a life-saving transplant. There is a long way to go to meet the need of those waiting and hoping for a gift that will save their lives. Nationwide, only 46% of people age 18 and older have registered as organ and tissue donors.
Most people do not realize that only 2% of people who are registered donors can be actually become donors. It is not generally known that people must die in the hospital, on life support, in order to keep organs viable and healthy for transplant. If, for example, someone dies on scene in a car accident, organ donation is not possible (although tissue and eye donation may be). By increasing the number of registered donors in every state, lives will be saved. The odds are increased that an organ or organs will become available from a deceased donor who has said yes to organ donation. We all have the power to save lives!