Gary Lodge was a writer, loved the outdoors and wanted to make a positive impact on the world. He was a son to Brenda Cervantes, a fiancé to Tanesha Hyde, and best friend to both. Gary treasured his personal relationships. He knew what mattered most in life was the imprint you leave on the people you touch, not the possessions you collect along the way.
At age 34, Gary’s life came to a sudden end when a blood clot lodged at the base of his brain. In the midst of a devastating loss, Brenda knew Gary wanted to be an organ, eye and tissue donor – he had a ‘D’ on his license.
At the same time, a woman awaited the arrival of her family as she lay dying in a hospital bed. She was in desperate need of a heart transplant. As her family arrived to say their goodbyes, they saw a brilliant rainbow painted across the sky, and for a brief moment, they let themselves hope it was a sign of a miracle about to happen. Indeed, they would soon learn that a donor heart had become available.
Brenda Cervantes, immersed in the grief of the loss of her son, looked up and saw the same rainbow. She thought perhaps Gary, always eager to put a smile on her face, had painted that rainbow to remind her of the beauty and good still surrounding her.
Gary left behind a mother, a father, a fiancé, and a baby he never held. He left his imprint of kindness and compassion on countless friends, family, and strangers. Gary’s important decision to be an organ donor transformed his tragic death into HOPE for 88 people, including six organ recipients. His corneas gave sight to two and his tissues restored mobility and improved the lives of 80 people! Gary’s legacy is HOPE.