Nicki Loshnowsky never anticipated having to designate her five-year-old son, Collin, as an organ donor. And yet, in November 2004, the Loshnowsky family faced a heart-wrenching decision after Collin was struck by a car and suffered severe head trauma. With their world flipped upside down, the Loshnowsky’s found some light in a tragic situation by choosing donation, and subsequently saving five different lives by donating Collin’s intestine, two kidneys, liver and heart – true gifts of life. Through the Loshnowsky’s active involvement with Gift of Life Donor Program and Gift of Life Howie’s House, they have found means to heal, as well as to celebrate Collin’s wonderful life, all the while promoting the incredible impacts of organ donation.
Over the last 10 years, the Loshnowsky family has been involved in a number of Gift of Life initiatives in Collin’s memory. At the Transplant Games of America, an Olympic-style athletic competition for transplant recipients, organ donors and donor families, the Loshnowsky family has been an integral member of Team Philadelphia as honoring their son and connecting with other families who have found themselves on the same side of transplantation. At the Dash for Organ and Tissue Donation, the family bans together as team “Captivated by Collin’s Smile” to demonstrate, through strength in numbers, how organ donation saves lives. The Loshnowsky family will always remember Collin’s infectious smile and his wonderful “belly laugh.”
This past November was Collin’s 10th “Angelversary”, and the Loshnowsky family chose to honor his life by inspiring individuals to perform ten random acts of kindness. Doing their own part, the Loshnowsky family has made it their fervent goal to participate in the Howie’s House Home Cook Heroes program 10 times by the end of 2014, preparing meals for the Howie’s House transplant patients and their families. It is through this program that they are able to share experiences and stories with the guests – what Nicki always looks forward to most. The Loshnowsky’s Home Cook Hero meal on December 2nd will be an extra special dinner in honor of Collin’s 16th birthday.
The support provided by the Loshnowsky family never ceases to amaze us, as they have also hosted successful Wish List Drives in memory of Collin to further support the Howie’s House mission. While Collin cannot be here today, his name and memory will forever be honored through the family’s dedication to Gift of Life.
To learn more about how you can participate in Collin’s 10th “Angelversary”, please visit https://www.facebook.com/events/529946973806475/. And don’t forget to share Collin’s story this holiday season as you partake in your own random acts of kindness – just use the hashtag “#cjl10years” when posting on your social media pages.