“In 2018, our 23-year-old daughter, Amanda Wilken, was finishing up a six-year program at Drake University. Graduation was right around the corner, and she was set to receive a Doctor of Pharmacy and a Master's in Business Administration. She had her heart set to begin her career at the VA Hospital. Amanda worked hard those 5+ years and "adulting" as she called it, was within reach, life was ready to start!
Our lives were shattered on October 11, 2018. Amanda passed away instantly in a traffic accident. I found out that evening that Amanda was a registered organ, eye and tissue donor. I never knew she had made that decision, we never talked about it. I was not surprised as she chose to help others in her career. I am thankful that someone took the time to determine Amanda's choice that fateful day and checked her donor registration decision. I encourage you, talk to your friends and family members about their decision regarding donation. It helped me that night to know I was honoring her wishes, that is what she wanted.
The magnitude of her personal decision was beyond anything I could have comprehended. Amanda helped 249 people with her gifts, two of which can see the beautiful world we live in because of her cornea donations. I have received heartfelt notes from both recipients and how much her gifts have enhanced their lives.
So, for anyone who has questions about organ, eye and tissue donation, ask. We are one of many incredible stories of selfless acts, but the impact to recipient families are immeasurable.
I miss the love and happiness Amanda brought to my life and feel her loss every day. She is forever loved and I could not be any more proud of her.”
--Jeanine Flies, Donor Mom