The Gift of Life

There is no greater loss, and no greater gift. Being an organ donor may be difficult to think about, but it can mean the difference between life and death. Today’s blog comes to us from our partners at the Donor Network of Arizona. April is National Donate Month. During this month, the lives of donors are honored and people are encouraged to register as organ, eye and tissue donors. Below is the heartbreaking/heartwarming story of a young woman who lost her life, but saved four others. 

Zoe MarNo parent ever expects their child to pass away before them.  Bob and Trena Mar know that pain after losing their 16-year-old daughter. During National Donate Life Month, they went back to the hospital where they said their final goodbyes to Zoe Mar less than a year ago. They honored their daughter as part of the hospital’s Donor Family Ceremony on Sunday, April 8, 2018.

The ceremony is part of Health Care for Hope, a month long effort of more than 50 health care organizations from across Arizona to encourage more people to register as organ, tissue and cornea donors—a decision that saves lives, just like Zoe did after succumbing to a brain aneurism.

Zoe Mar2“People should know she had compassion and an upbeat demeanor,” Bob says, highlighting why donation was the best choice for Zoe. “She was always helping people in need.”

Zoe was destined to entertain. In her short life, she got involved with a children’s theater, a show choir and she started film acting. Her parents say she had a lot of friends and that she was a joy to be around. Her dream was cut short. However, Zoe’s generosity made the dreams of others come true.

Her gifts of life saved four people—all under the age of 20 with their whole lives ahead of them. That includes a 19-year-old woman who shares that love of the performing arts with Zoe. Through her double-lung transplant recipient, Zoe’s voice will live on every time she sings.

If the world is a stage, Zoe is undoubtedly a star, and her family shares her story to continue her legacy.

Join the more than 3.3 million Arizonans who are registered as organ, tissue and cornea donors by signing up in celebration of National Donate Life Month. Arizonans can sign up when they apply for or renew their driver’s license or ID at the MVD. They can also register online at

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