Pioneer, Ohio family hoping to bring awareness to organ donation

Friends and family gather to honor Kaleb McLaughlin. (WNWO/ Marcus Espinoza)

In a matter of seconds, life can be taken away, but it can also be given.

Kaleb McLaughlin of Pioneer, Oh died instantly in a car accident in June of 2013.

He was 20-years-old.

However, Kaleb was an organ donor and his tragedy has prevented dozens of others.

“He gave the gift of sight, his tissue, all of your skin and bones…he was helped 64 people and their life has been enhanced because of Kaleb, so it’s more than just a heart and liver and lungs, it’s all of us that they can use," said Kim Oxender, mother of Kaleb.

For Kevin, Kaleb represented what any parent would want in a son. A willingness to help anyone at any time.

“He really never said no to anybody. If you needed something he was there," said Kevin Oxender, father of Kaleb.

As a part of remembering Kaleb, the family has been invited to participate in the 2017 Donate Life Rose Parade Float, Teammates for Life in Pasadena, CA on January 2nd. A total of 60 floragraphs will be featured of those who have been organ donors. A florgraph is artistic portrait created by using spices, seeds and other organic materials to cover a digitized photograph of the individual.

For Kim, doing something so selfless can have such a great impact on the world.

“All you got to do is check in the little box at the license bureau or go online, it can save someone’s, our Kaleb’s not here anymore, but somebody else has their child or parent still, because of the organ donor," said Kim Oxender.

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