Letter: IDN honors organ, tissue donors at funerals



One’s decision to save lives as their own life ends is one of the most selfless acts a person will ever make.

In 2021, hundreds of Indiana residents became organ and tissue donors, giving others a second chance at life. Their gifts provided recipients more time with their family, friends and loved ones, more opportunities to realize their hopes and dreams, and more years to enjoy all that life presents.

I am privileged to lead an organization that not only facilitates these gifts of life, but supports donors, transplant recipients and their families before, during and long after their donation and transplantation experiences. Driven by innovation, we are the only one of 57 organ procurement organizations in the U.S. to formally honor donors at their funerals and celebrations of life, upon the request of their families, through our new Donor Honor Guard program.

Donor Honor Guard began recognizing donors at their services in 2021 as part of our Funeral Home Partnership program, which unites our organization with funeral home directors throughout the state. Each Donor Honor Guard ceremony included reading a tribute provided by the family, a moment of silence, illuminating a Donate Life candle and dedicating roses to immediate family members.

I thank our Indiana donor heroes for their gifts of life, and I appreciate each family that has welcomed our Donor Honor Guard and allowed us to pay tribute to their loved one. I am also grateful for our partnership with funeral directors throughout the state who have helped us develop and implement this meaningful experience for donor families.

Kellie Tremain, president and CEO, Indiana Donor Network