Wednesday, February 14, 2024

About the book


A Story of Organ and Tissue Donation & Transplant

A one-of-a-kind children's book that honors the superheroes who save lives through organ and tissue donation.

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This book is intended primarily for children whose lives have been affected by organ donation or transplantation. It is recommended that an adult family member, caregiver, or family support professional read it with the child. 

Most patients who become organ donors have suffered unexpected death. The grief of their loved ones can be complicated by the sudden, often traumatic loss. For donor families—including children—the generous decision of organ or tissue donation often provides comfort in knowing that something good has come out of a tragic loss. Others know that their loved one would want to help another human being. The ultimate gift of life leaves a legacy of love to everyone it touches.

The book can also help children honor a donor when they or someone they care about have received a lifesaving transplant. Encouraging discussion will allow children to better understand the enormous significance of this selfless, final act of human kindness.

I extend my deep gratitude to NJ Sharing Network—the federally designated nonprofit organization responsible for the recovery and placement of donated organs and tissue in the Garden State—and to the Sharing Network Foundation for their support of this project. This book was made possible through a generous grant from the Sharing Network Foundation.

                                               ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATOR:

Benjamin Hummel is an author/illustrator of children's books who currently teaches at Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design. He is also a two-time liver transplant survivor. Find out more about him at


"A unique and meaningful story about a child learning to live with loss, while discovering the powerful, life-saving impact their loved one made through the gift of organ and tissue donation. Any adult supporting a child through loss and donation would benefit from this special book.” ~ Jacqueline Salvatore, MSW LSW, NJ Sharing Network

"Through its gentle narrative and vibrant illustrations, 'A Gift of Life' offers a clear and accessible understanding of the profound act of giving and receiving the gift of life. By delicately addressing the complex topic of organ donation with sensitivity, Rachelle is able to explain the importance of giving the gift of life in a way that is easy for young minds to grasp. This book will undoubtedly spark meaningful conversations about kindness, empathy and generosity. Tara Storch, Co-Founder Taylor's Gift Foundation and Donor Mom

After experiencing the transplant journey firsthand, numerous families like ours struggle with survivor's guilt concerning our recipient children. This book eloquently provides insight into the events preceding our child's life-saving gift and explores the myriad of motivations of donor families. We deeply appreciate the thoughtful portrayal of the complete cycle of life in organ donation. It brings us much peace. Thank you for shedding light on this profound aspect of human generosity and compassion. ~Melissa McQueen, Founder - Transplant Families

"As a heart recipient of 28 years, I can attest to the power of this book in conveying the significance of organ donation, making it a must-read for anyone seeking understanding and inspiration in this journey of life and gratitude." ~ Kelly Perkins,

“A thoughtful and heartwarming resource for organ and tissue donor families and those touched
by the gift of life…an inspiring story of hope and heroes for all ages.”
 ~ Amanda Tibok, Sharing
Network Foundation


Grief Support for Donor Families

Taylor’s Gift Foundation Grief Support Program (

The Dougy Center  (

What’s Your Grief? (

You may also contact the family support services of your local organ and tissue donation organization.

Resources and Information About Organ Donation

About the book

A GIFT OF LIFE:  A Story of Organ and Tissue Donation & Transplant A one-of-a-kind children's book that honors the superheroes who s...