SOUTH WHITEHALL TWP., Pa. - Elizabeth Kennedy's 19-year-old son David was young and full of life, until one night, he left his parents' house to go to a nighttime college class.
"And he did not come home that night," Elizabeth begins.
David was in a car crash and died instantly.
"I mean, it's the worst time of your life. You know, your child dies before you, you never think that's going to happen," Elizabeth says.
Because he died at the scene, David wasn't able to be an organ donor. But Gift of Life told them, he could be a tissue donor. His corneas, skin, bones, heart valves and more went to 45 people, who could now have a better life, because of his gift.
"So knowing he could be a tissue donor was a source of comfort for us," his mother says.
But the story of donation doesn't end with David.
More than 20 years later, his cousin - Elizabeth's nephew, Jonathan - was hit by a drunk driver. His parents got the same news Elizabeth had. The shock was the same. But remarkably, so was the selfless decision in a moment of grief.
"My brother and sister-in-law said, because of what you did, we saw what you did for our nephew, and we wanted to do that as well."
Jonathan was able to be an organ donor. But the story doesn't stop there, either.
Four years later, Jonathan's father was diagnosed with lung cancer, and continued the family tradition. He gave the one thing he could - his corneas. Three people, all in one family, improving the lives of dozens and dozens of people.
"That is a strong family grouping that we have, that we know the value of this."
Elizabeth says, it never goes away.
"It's difficult, even now - 29 years later. Still difficult."
The pain of losing a child is always there.
But because of this gift, so is the feeling that he's somehow still here.
"We know he's alive in somebody else."
If you would like to learn more about organ and tissue donation or sign up to be a donor visit Gift of Life's website.