CHICAGO (WLS) --The families of two organ donors were honored Thursday during a Gift of Hope ceremony at Stronger Hospital for their decision that saved the lives of 10 people.
One of the organ recipients met relatives of the donor who saved his life for the first time.
Sarina Rojas held back tears as she heard wonderful words about her son Eric Magana, who was shot in the head and killed last year in the Bridgeport neighborhood. She was honored for donating his organs.
Rojas said, through an interpreter, that other family members had urged her not to give away her son's organs.
"He wanted to be an organ donor and I'm not going to oppose that," Rojas said.
Like Magana, many Chicago area families also made that life-saving decision.
Elvin Dawson's nephew Jordan was shot and killed in the Englewood neighborhood.
His organs saved at least six people, including Willie Martin, who got Jordan's kidney. That gives Jordan's family a measure of solace.
"When I look at Willie, I can see Jordan, because Jordan gave him the gift of life and wow, even though he's still here with us in spirit, now I can really look over there and see that he is still with us," said Dawson, who was Jordan's guardian.
Martin had been waiting for more than ten years for a kidney.
"It was a struggle, but I just never gave up," Martin said. "I got up every day going to dialysis with my head high, like I'm not ready to lay down yet."
Dawson said he is looking forward to meeting the other people who received Jordan's organs, especially the person who now has his nephew's heart. He said he just wants to put his head on that chest and hear the magical sound of Jordan once again.
"I'm really glad that even though it was a tragic situation, that we made the decision to help other people," Dawson said.