A West Chester Twp. family is sharing their personal experience with organ donation in a public way.
Diane Grimes, of West Chester Twp., donated 40 percent of her liver to her son Connor, now 18, when he was two and half years old. Just after birth, her son was diagnosed with biliary atresia, a disease contained to the liver.
Grimes was the recent winner of the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicle’s “What on Your Plate?” competition, for the Donate Life plates she and her son — a senior at Lakota West High School — have placed on their vehicles.
Grimes said she’s had the “IGAVE” personalized plate for about four years. Once Connor turned 16, she ordered his “IRECVD” plate.
“It’s neat because we get so many comments; it strikes up a conversation with complete strangers everywhere you go,” Grimes said. “That was the whole intention.”
Grimes said she got the personalized plates to help educate the public on the importance and impact of organ donation. Grimes also does public speaking through the LifeCenter Organ Donor Network in Cincinnati.
Nationally, more than 117,000 people are waiting for a life-saving transplant. A single donor can potentially save the lives of eight people through organ donation, according to LifeCenter.
Grimes’ personalized plate was selected from 25 other submissions across the state because of her “powerful story,” according to the BMV. As the winner, Grimes is featured on the BMV’s website and Facebook and Twitter pages, and will receive a decorative license plate with the personalization of her choice.
“Certain things happen in life and you can ask ‘why me?’ or you can take it and do something positive with it,” Grimes said.