CLEVELAND - The Cleveland Browns Legends Club found itself filled with Seattle Seahawks colors, blue and green on Wednesday. Lifebanc, the organization dedicated to saving and healing lives through organ and tissue donations, uses the same colors for its logo and it filled the room with colors representing life.
NewsChannel5's Andy Baskin was the emcee, delivering a heartfelt story about his dying brother's lung transplant that prolonged his life enough for him to say good bye. Bruce Baskin died in 2005 from complications of cystic fibrosis.
The luncheon offered much-needed Kleenex boxes at each table as guest speakers, Former Cincinnati Bengals' star Icky Woods and the mother of Chris Henry drew tears from the crowd.
Woods recounted the day in 2010 that he found out that his son, Jovante, had collapsed from an asthma attack after a football practice. His son was declared brain dead, but had checked off on his license that he wanted to be an organ donor.
Bengals wide receiver Henry suffered a critical brain injury in 2009 after a vehicle accident. He was also declared brain dead. His mother, Carolyn Henry Glaspy, made sure that his tissue and organs helped keep life after his death.
Her emotional meeting with the four recipients of her son's organs was part of a television special.
The luncheon culminated with Lifebanc's Legacy of Life Award. This year it was awarded to the mother of two teens killed on April 28, 2010 in a tragic two-car accident on their way to school in the morning.
Erin, 17, died the day of the accident. Her 13-year-old brother, Andrew, died the next day. Both were organ donors. Their mother has been an ambassador for the mission of Lifebanc since.
For Laura Ehrbar-DePiero, the decision had been discussed with her daughter at the time she got her license. DePiero and her husband honored their daughter's wishes and were thankful to have another day to spend with their son before he too became a donor.
"This gives me the chance to talk about Erin and Andrew again and again. To me, it's a gift. It's a gift to be able to talk about their story and the good that they've done and hoping that it will inspire someone else. I don't want anyone else to be in this situation, but the reality is that someone will be. If we had had more education we would have said more to other donation possibilities," said DePiero.