Family raises awareness of organ donation in son's memory

Family raises awareness of organ donation in son's memory

Update: 10:22 pm CHAMPAIGN -- The final touches were made to honor an 11-year old who gave the Gift of Life.
Update: 10:22 pm
CHAMPAIGN -- The final touches were made to honor an 11-year old who gave the Gift of Life. He died in 2000 in a car accident, but he was an organ donor and helped two others.

Now people are making a picture out of flowers in his memory; among them, the woman he gave sight to. The picture in honor of Teddy Deterding will be sent to California for the Parade of Roses.

Original: 5:22 pm
CHAMPAIGN -- No parent wants to bury their child. A family faced that reality 13 years ago, but they found a way to give the gift of life by donating his organs. WCIA-3's Anthony Antoine shows us how the family is raising awareness for the cause.

The family says it wanted their kids to donate their organs when they died, but they never thought they'd be donating their son's organs instead. Through an organization called The Gift of Hope, they're shedding light on a topic which can literally save lives.

"Teddy was a tall, lanky 11-year old. He liked to play with WWF wrestlers and Matchbox cars. He also had the most beautiful blue eyes and smile you ever saw."

Robyn Deterding saw her son for the last time 13 years ago. Teddy Deterding died in a car accident.

"You're praying and praying for a miracle and I think that's when they asked us about being an organ and tissue donor, that we actually realized that, that's what the miracle's going to be. It wasn't what we had hoped for, but there was another family that was sitting there praying for a miracle and so, Teddy was going to be their miracle."

The family donated his kidneys, pancreas and eyes.

"The woman that got his kidneys and pancreas, she had been on dialysis and hadn't been able to have ice cream and she told us, the first thing that she wanted was ice cream and she got mint chocolate chip. That was Teddy's favorite."

They're finding strength in raising awareness for organ donation. In fact, they're in the Guinness Book of Records for signing up the most organ donors in eight hours. Robyn talks to students on college campuses.

"This year we signed up over 5,000 students on nine different campuses."

Now, the family will put the finishing touches on a florograph. It's a memorial portrait of Teddy made of flowers, seeds and spices. It will be sent to Pasadena, California, for the Parade of Roses.

"I think it's going to be very emotional. I've seen some of the other ones being completed and they're so beautiful and I'm really kind of anxious to see."

Teddy Deterding's florography will be one of 81 tributes to organ, eye and tissue donors around the country.
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