BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Turning tragedy into a lasting legacy, that’s what Leah Veck’s powerful testimony about the life of her granddaughter did in helping to unanimously pass House resolution 130.
The Aliye Ringe Resolution urges and requests the Office of Motor Vehicles include information about organ donation in all driver education programs.
“I’m here today because of my granddaughter. Aliye’s life could not be saved, but Aliye saved five other lives,” said Veck. “At the OMV, students are simply asked the question, ‘Do you want to be an organ donor, yes or no?'”
“On December 22nd my twenty-year-old granddaughter Aliye Isabel Ringe was the victim of a fatal car accident while coming home from work,” said Veck.
On December 23rd Aliye Ringe was declared brain dead. On December 25th, on Christmas day, her favorite time of the year, she gave the gift of life to five people by donating six organs.
“It was the worst day of our lives, we’ve never experienced anything like that in our family before. She was just so young and vibrant and she just loved life so much, she has left us with a multitude of videos with her singing and dancing that brings a lot of joy to us now,” said Veck.
When Ringe was 16, with some guidance from her mother, she made the choice to become an organ donor. Four years later that decision made her a hero to so many families.
“We need to make more people aware of what that actually means being an organ donor, most people, they don’t understand because they’re not being educated,” said Veck.
Since the accident Veck has been working with the Louisiana Organ Procurement Agency to promote organ donation, she’s grateful for how this mission has helped her with her grieving process. She’s even been in contact with one of the recipients of her granddaughter’s selfless act.
“He thinks some of her life may have gotten into him, her liveliness,” said Veck.
While there is a long road of healing ahead, the life Aliye lived and continues to live through other people brings her comfort.
“Every time she left my driveway, that long driveway, I would do this, and Aliye would do that, and it meant always in my heart,” said Veck.
More than 100,000 people across the country are currently waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant with almost 2,000 of them here in Louisiana. Because only three in 1,000 people die in a way that allows for organ donation to take place, LOPA advocates that it is vitally important for everyone to register their lifesaving decision to be an organ, tissue, and eye donor.
“We’ve had so much sadness because of this, if I can just even help one family from having to go through the grief of losing a loved one, it’s worth every minute that I spend working to help promote organ donation,” said Veck.
Anyone interested in learning more about being an organ donor can visit lopa.org.