Kansas City, Mo. (September 16, 2014) – Eric Roach, an ironworker from Raymore, died on July 25th at age 22 from a work-related injury. Through organ, eye and tissue donation, Eric’s tragedy resulted in hope for others in need of transplant and solace for his family. On Saturday, September 20th at 1:00 p.m. at Raymore’s Recreation Park (1011 S. Madison St., Raymore, MO 64083), Roach’s family will hold a first annual softball tournament in his memory. More than 150 participants are registered, plus many more spouses and spectators are expected to attend. The event is open to the public. The family intends the event to raise awareness
for organ, eye and tissue donation in the Kansas City community.
Upon his death, Roach donated his organs, corneas and several tissues, which saved or improved the lives of dozens of people. Becky Howard, a cousin of Roach, knows the value of donation firsthand. Her daughter was born blind due to congenital glaucoma and other eye problems, but after receiving several corneal transplants and other eye surgeries, her four-year-old daughter can now see. Furthermore, the father of Roach’s sister-in-law Darcy received a life-saving heart transplant this summer. Having experienced the benefits of donation on both sides, both Becky Howard and Darcy Roach are eager to share their story and honor Eric’s memory on September 20th.
Two Kansas City-area nonprofit organizations, Midwest Transplant Network, an organ procurement organization, and Saving Sight, an eye bank, are providing the family with educational and promotional materials to help encourage attendees to join the organ, eye and tissue donor registry.
The need for organ, eye and tissue donation is great. According to the United Network for Organ Sharing, more than 123,000 people are currently waiting for a life-saving organ transplant. Last year, according to the Eye Bank Association of America, more than 48,000 corneas were transplanted in the U.S. And more than 1 million tissue transplants are performed each year in the U.S., according to Donate Life America.
To meet the need, Americans are encouraged to sign up for their state’s donor registry. Anyone can register to be a donor, regardless of age, race or medical history. Sign up online at the Donate Life website or at the local Department of Motor Vehicles Office.
About Saving Sight
Saving Sight is a 501(c)(3) organization with a mission to change lives by saving sight. Founded in Columbia, Mo. in 1960, the organization introduced eye donation and the gift of sight to Missouri.