The LOPA foundation brought two families together today because of an organ donation. The family of Cajun musician Lee Benoit met the women who received their grandson’s kidneys.
When Xander Benoit died in an 18- wheeler crash last September, another woman’s life changed forever. Tamara Huggins received Xander’s kidneys.
"I didn’t have one kidney. they found out I had cancer in both of my kidneys. They removed both of my kidneys March 20, 2012, and I walked here six years without a kidney and that’s why I say god is amazing," Huggins said.
"He wanted to be a hero and thank you to LOPA, you made him a hero, we appreciate it. I would advise anybody to go down to the drivers license department and put this on the back of your card and donate your organs. It can make a big difference in somebody else’s life," Benoit said.
Xanders mother and her wife attended the reunion as well. His mother wore a necklace around her neck with his photo.
At Tuesday’s event, the room was filled with pictures of Xander. His grandparents said his legacy will live on forever.
"He had five wonderful years and we were blessed, he is going to be forever young, you know," Benoit said.
His mother remembered him in a very special way. A ring on her finger, that Xander would have loved.
"This is my Zan ring, he really loved rocks and shells so I found a really rare shell, and had this made and I wear it on the hand that was crushed in the accident," Xander’s mother said.
April is National Donate Life Month, a time to encourage individuals to register as organ, eye and tissue donors and to celebrate those that have saved lives through the gift of donation. Organ donors have the ability to save up to 9 lives through donation and help many more through eye and tissue donation.
In Louisiana, more than 2,000 people are waiting for a life-saving organ. Be a hero by becoming an organ, eye and tissue donor. Learn more and register at DonateLifeLA.org.