April is National Donate Life Month, a time during which the power of organ, eye and tissue donation is recognized and celebrated. This topic is deeply personal - more than 8,700 New Yorkers are currently waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant. But they are not the only ones affected by this issue. Additionally, there are thousands of families across the greater metro area whose loved ones gave the gift of life. Each of these donors is a hero and their legacy lives on in the lives they saved through organ donation.
Meet Kingston, a Seven-Year-Old Hero
Kingston was a curious and happy boy who touched all who knew him. He was born with Down Syndrome, but that didn’t stop him from living life to the fullest. A Bronx resident, he was the joy of his parents’ lives and a friend to his siblings and classmates.
Kingston tragically passed away in late 2019 at the age of seven after falling from the window of his apartment building. On the darkest day of their lives, his parents, Rozzy and Steve, were asked if they would donate the young boy’s organs so that others may live on. Without hesitation they said yes, and Kingston went on to save five lives.
“If you believe in God then it’s OK to think about others, even in your worst moment,” Rozzy said. “Because that is the godly thing to do. There are people out there who don’t get the chance to see their kids reach even a month or a year. We had at least seven. Our son would have wanted to help others, so why not help?”
Late last year on the one-year anniversary of Kingston’s passing, his family hosted a memorial celebration for the young boy in the street outside of their home. Hundreds of people showed up to share memories of the young boy and participate in a balloon release in his honor.
“I want to keep my son’s legacy alive,” Rozzy said at the ceremony. “And I want to share how important it is for everyone to think about signing up to donate their organs.”
This Donate Life Month we remember Kingston and his incredible gift. April is a chance to raise awareness about the heroes of organ donation who gave the ultimate gift. It’s an opportunity to have important conversations and share your wishes with loved ones and encourage others to do the same. One person can save up to eight lives and leave a lasting legacy through those who live on because of their generosity. This April, consider being a hero like Kingston.
In honor of those who have donated, please take a few moments to visit LiveOnNY.org to learn more.