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'They have life' | Burlington boy's tragic death transforms 132 lives through organ donation

There are more than 100,000 people waiting for a life-saving organ transplant in the U.S., including 673 in Iowa.

BURLINGTON, Iowa — It's not every day you find a 10-year-old boy who has transformed the life of 132 people. But Garrett Brockway from Burlington has done just that.

Garrett became an organ and tissue donor after he was hit by a falling tree 10 years ago. He is now being honored by the Iowa Donor Network for all he has given, and to encourage others to do the same.

"We have 1.6 million Iowans registered as donors," Iowa Donor Network Chief Development Officer Julie Schneider said. "97% of those do that when they go get their driver's license or their permit."

A plaque was unveiled at the Burlington DMV showcasing Garrett's story, so people can see how important being an organ and tissue donor is. This was the 14th tribute plaque the Iowa Department of Transportation has installed since they began doing so in 2020. 

"That one simple yes can change so many lives," Garrett's dad Bruce said. "Because of Garrett, they have mobility, they have health, they have life."

"He loved sports, loved the St. Louis Cardinals, loved to be outdoors, loved his friends," Garrett's mom Tiffini said.

On top of those things, Garrett also loved a very special candy bar ... KitKats.

"KitKats were Garrett's favorite candy bar," Tiffini said. "I don't remember what year it was, but KitKat was named the most influential candy bar because you share it." This yummy candy bar, a symbol, of the incredible young boy Garrett was, and continues to be.

"We miss him, but you know, he's gone on to do a lot of good for a lot of people," Bruce said.

There's no cost to be an organ or tissue donor. Here is the link to learn how you can become a donor in Iowa. 

Watch | Third time's the charm - QC mom donates liver after two failed attempts


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