Donate Life Day at the Diamondbacks09/29/2022
Donor Network of Arizona (DNA) celebrated Donate Life Day at the Arizona Diamondbacks game on July 9, 2022. The event was a huge success with over 2,500 tickets sold in our sections at the game. We invited donor families and recipients to celebrate the life of their loved one or honor their donor. Donation Champions and professional partners were also dressed in green and filled the stands. As guests walked into the stadium, they were greeted by a registration table, where they were able to sign up as organ, eye and tissue donors or reaffirm their decision.
Before the first pitch, more than 1,000 people with a donation connection lapped the diamond in matching green shirts while holding posters and photos of their loved ones in a Celebration of Life parade. In the stands were roughly 2,500 people in those same shirts during the game, the largest in-person event DNA’s ever held.
As the game started, Debbie Edenhofer, mother to a fallen Arizona Department of Public Safety trooper and generous donor, wound up on the pitcher’s mound to throw the first pitch.
“He was my hero,” Debbie says about her son, Trooper Tyler James Edenhofer. “I just feel like if I met [his recipients], I could see a piece of my son.”
For now, she holds onto his photo to encourage others to be a hero, too. Tyler suffered a gunshot wound after he responded to 911 calls of someone throwing stones at cars on I-10 near Avondale in 2018. Only 24, and engaged to be married, Tyler passed away. He donated tissue and corneas to heal others and restore vision for two people.
“I think everyone should be an organ donor,” Debbie says.
Recognizing Donation Heroes
Thanks to the generosity of Arizona donors, 790 lives were saved in 2021, and thousands more were healed.
Donor family members honored Stevie Pierce Jr. and Kyson Land, who both gave the generous gift of life to others. Double-lung recipient Allison Stokes, kidney recipient Tristan Black and his living donor Harmony Wells showed the lifesaving impact of donation. Also joining us on the field was a family who, due to a genetic condition, are all heart recipients, Adolfo Lopez, Adilene Lopez and their mother Guadalupe Aispuro. Finally, we recognized our donation champions, including employees at Motor Vehicle Division, driver’s license partners, Arizona hospital employees and others who make donation possible!
A Sea of Green
Ketchup wins! Two grandkids of Lynn Daily, donor mom to Jacob Daily, participated in the Hot Dog Derby.
“They were shocked at how many people would be watching them,” says Lynn. “But they are ‘Dailys’ and competitive, so they got over that quick!”
The kids were shown on the jumbotron along with the DNA sections where all of the donor families and friends, transplant recipients, living donors and champions of donation sat. The section looked like a bright green sea, due to all of the people wearing their Donate Life and Done Vida shirts provided by DNA.
Volunteers during the game loved the experience as well. Both registration tables were busy throughout the entire game, and more than 220 people registered for the first time during the event.
“I really liked the parade. It was very beautiful to see all the families together supporting each other and donation, it was very touching,” said volunteers Kaylynn and Carson. It was their first time volunteering for DNA and they are excited to come back for the next event.
Thank you to everyone who made this day possible and to everyone who participated and celebrated Donate Life Day at the Diamondbacks.
We all know lives are saved through donation. Moreover, the decision to donate not only multiplies compassion in our world, it creates a space for healing. Events like Donate Life Day at the Diamondbacks is just one of the many spaces where families are invited to heal during the months and years following the loss of a loved one. Hearts and minds open as people hear how the gift of life and health were so selflessly offered and how a donor’s legacy is remembered forever. Click here to see just some of the ways we help donor families navigate their journey.
We encourage everyone to register as an organ, eye and tissue donor to give a second chance at life. To register, visit DonateLifeAZ.org.