LifeGift Tissue Donation Specialist Charles Wiltz Jr. with his mother, Geraldine, a kidney transplant recipient.
Donate Life Month Celebrates Second Chances
This April marks the 11th annual National Donate Life Month, a celebration commemorating those who have given the gift of life through organ, eye and tissue donation. For those whose lives have been touched by donation and transplantation, National Donate Life Month provides a chance to share their story to encourage more people to register as donors.
This couldn’t be more true for Charles Wiltz Jr., a tissue donation specialist at LifeGift, the organ and tissue recovery agency based in Houston. Not only does Charles work in the field, he’s also the son of both a recipient and a donor.
Charles’ mother, Geraldine Wiltz, was added to the transplant waiting list in 2002 due to kidney disease. Five transplant opportunities fell through before the elementary teacher finally received her gift in 2014.
Inspired by the selflessness that saved his wife, Charles Wiltz Sr. registered as a donor. When he died in 2012, his corneas gave sight to another, while his tissue saved the lives of perfect strangers.
“Let your loved one become a hero and a champion of donation,” said Charles. “Let them live through other people whose lives you can save...”