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Garden of Hope dedication: A tribute to organ donors


by Trinity Gruenberg

    The Garden of Hope dedication and the Donate Life flag raising were held on April 3 to  honor local organ, eye and tissue donor families and recipients.

    The event was held at the Wesley Hospital where over 60 donor families, transplant recipients, Tri-County employees and members of the public gathered inside the heated ambulance garage due to the lingering cold weather.

    Joel Beiswenger, president/CEO of Tri-County Health Care, shared that 115,000 people across the nation are waiting for an organ transplant. 

    “And 3500 of those are right here in Minnesota. Our friends, our neighbors, our family, people you probably know,” said Beiswenger.

    Another person is added to the waiting list every 10 minutes and 22 people die each day waiting for a transplant. One donor can save more than 75 lives.

    “The Garden of Hope not only celebrates the lives of donors and recipients, but it becomes a beacon for others to help spur others to make that critical life donation,” said Beiswenger.

    “Thanks to Mother Nature, we are here today to dedicate a garden that is mostly hidden under the snow,” chuckled Lois Miller, organ and tissue donation project leader.

    The dedication coincided with the Donate Life flag raising as April is organ donation month. 

    The garden, located on the Wesley Hospital lawn, has a curved stone bench with an arc of flowers. As soon as the snow melts, the pavers will be placed around the flower bed with the names of organ donors.

    “What better way to have a living, growing tribute to those who gave life and hope to others,” said Miller.

    She recognized the many organizations and individuals who contributed to the creation of the garden....

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