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Consider giving the gift of life

April is National Donate Life Month, and in the spirit of giving I would like to encourage all state residents to register to be an organ, tissue and eye donor.

I speak from experience. In November 1993, my beloved wife Susie received a heart from her donor Tommy Mattakat of Duluth. Tommy’s heroic gift gave us 14 more years with Susie. Susie died on Aug. 5, 2007.

Our family continues to be ever so grateful for Tommy’s decision. Tommy also was able to donate his organs to many others who could only live with a life-saving transplant. His family and friends are most proud of Tommy’s decision to give the “gift of life” to so many in need of this second chance of life.

We can all learn from the generosity that Tommy Mattakat showed at the end of his life. We all have the power to save lives. Please take the time to learn about organ donation and document your wishes to your family.

For more information on organ donation, go to http://