Student, musician, beloved son, brother, and fiancé, AJ was diagnosed with alveolar soft part sarcoma, a rare cancer, at age 24. Despite a tremendous fight, he passed away in January 2009.
Growing up, AJ was familiar with the topics of donation and transplantation. His father, Brian, is a Minnesota Lions club member and a cornea recipient. Because generous cornea donors restored his dad's vision, AJ had made sure that "DONOR" was on his license.
Cornea Transplant Recipient
Returning home from his first cornea transplant, Brian could for the first time see well enough to notice handprints all along the hallway wall, where night after night he'd been groping his way to bed. "I told my wife, 'We have to paint these!'"
Brian's transplants were career-saving, giving him 20/20 vision with contacts, and he started looking for ways to give back. "When you can't see and then suddenly you can, you want to help others."