LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) - About 95 families in the Coulee Region have a relative who donated organs, tissue or eyes since the middle of 2010, according to Jodie Gonia, donation liaison for Mayo Clinic Health System.
Sunday was a chance for these families to honor their loves ones.
At the donor remembrance ceremony, families heard from the parent of a donor, a transplant recipient, and representatives from Mayo Clinic and Gundersen Lutheran, about the power of donating organs.
They honored all those who lost their lives and donated organs to help save someone else's.
"(These families) find that they're not alone," Gonia said. "So, they have some time to mix and mingle with other loving families in the Coulee Region and it's just a chance for them to once again honor their loved one."
More than 117,000 people are waiting for an organ, tissue or eye transplant, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. About 18 people die each day waiting for an organ.
Six donor remembrance ceremonies have been held in La Crosse. They take place every two years, Gonia said.
Sunday's ceremony was sponsored by Gundersen Lutheran, Lions Eye Bank of Wisconsin, Mayo Clinic Health System, UW Health Organ Procurement Organization, and Wisconsin Tissue Bank/Blood Center of Wisconsin.
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