Garrett's Path raises awareness about organ donation

Burlington family supports Illinois, new law that lowers the donor age to 16

Garrett Brockway was your average 10-year-old boy, but in February of 2013...

"Our son, 10-year-old Garrett, was struck and hit by a falling tree and four days later was declared brain dead."

Just shy of the 5 year anniversary of his death, Tiffini and Bruce Brockway have turned their tragedy into miracles for 132 people across the nation and Canada. 

"He saved five lives through organ donation, he helped two other people see through cornea donation, and he's helped 125 through cartilage donations," said Bruce. 

Now they use their organization, Garrett's Path, to raise awareness about organ donation.  

"It just kept growing and it kept growing, and so we were excited, we were excited that Garrett was being remembered, and that good things could come out of his memory," said Bruce.

When they heard about Illinois' new law to lower the age of First Person Consent to 16, they hoped it would spark similar change in other states. 

"At 16, they're making a decision that's in their heart, something they feel right making," said Bruce.

Within months of Garrett's death, the letters started coming in. 

"We've heard from his other cornea recipient, a kidney recipient in addition and his heart ricipient," said Tiffini. "In the past, getting the mail wasn't a big deal to us, we'd go a day or two without checking it. Ever since Garrett passed, we check that mailbox every single day in hopes that we're gonna hear from another ricipient."

Through their son's story, the Brockway family is raising awareness, hoping to shed light on the impact one donor can make. 

"Everyday people pass away because they didn't get their life saving gift," said Tiffini.

And while they wish they could've changed the outcome of Garrett's story, they're grateful that through their son, others have a chance to rewrite theirs.  

"Garrett's story is a powerful story," said Bruce. "We know what it's like to watch a loved one pass, but you figure each person that's on that list...their families are watching the same thing."

You can learn more about Garrett's Path here or through their Facebook page. 

You can find out how you can become an organ donor in Illinois here.

Or how to become an organ donor in Iowa here


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