Wheat Ridge, Colo.,
14:58 PM

Organ Donors Save Lives


The Donor Alliance flag will fly in front of Lutheran Medical Center through April, to honor and recognize the importance of organ donation.  

Babette Canacari knows first-hand the difference that donation makes. When her 12-year-old daughter, who was born at Lutheran, died several years ago, one decision that was easy to make was to agree for her to be an organ, eye, and tissue donor.  

Brianna was in the ICU for four days following a tragic accident, when it became clear that she was not going to survive. Since she had previously shared that she wanted to sign up to be an organ, eye, and tissue donor when she was old enough, her parents agreed to honor her wishes. 

“It was an easy decision to make – we knew it was what she wanted,” Babette said.  


On April 6, Babette shared her daughter’s story with Lutheran caregivers, Donor Alliance staff, and the news media, as we raised the flag in front of the hospital.  

Babette added: “Brianna helped people when she was alive and now, she was going to give the gift of life in her death. We know that she saved at least three people (and their families) with her organs and now these families have a second chance at life. She also saved and healed many through the gifts of her tissue.” 

Dr. Steven Brown, Vice President, and Chief Medical Officer at Lutheran, spoke about Lutheran’s partnership with Donor Alliance, an organization whose staff he called compassionate and respectful. He shared some statistics about organ donation in the region and at Lutheran in particular: 

  • There are about 1,500 people needing organ donation in our region. 
  • Coloradans are No. 1 in the country in terms of signing up to donate organs, eyes and tissue at 66% of the population with driver's licenses.  
  • In 2022, Lutheran had 15 donors, resulting in 40 organs donated, 85 tissue donations and more than 6,300 people helped or healed.  
  • Through Lutheran, Rocky Mountain Lions Eye Bank recovered eye tissue from 97 donors, restoring sight in people in 11 states and seven countries.  

Jennifer Prinze, RN, BSN, MPH-HPA, and CEO of Donor Alliance, highlighted the partnerships between Donor Alliance and hospitals as we serve grieving families and honor donors and recipients.  

“We are grateful to the staff at Children’s Hospital Colorado and Donor Alliance. I understand what doctors and nurses go through,” Babette said. “You never forget the love you have for your child. I want to share Brianna’s legacy – she is still here, just through me. Thank you for letting me share her story.”