RIPLEY - This month (April), Donate Life West Virginia and Wendy’s are partnering to encourage state residents to become organ, tissue and cornea donors and to celebrate those who have saved lives through the gift of donation.
It was appropriate that the awareness and find-raising campaign kicked off at Wendy’s in Ripley Thursday, since manager Lisa Johnson is a donor mom. Johnson’s late daughter, Jasmine Nicole Moore was a donor. Moore of Logan, 26, died of injuries sustained in a single car crash on September 16, 2012, after being in a coma. Her parents, Lisa and Doug Johnson, did not know she had registered as an organ/tissue donor until after she expired.

In a very emotional part of Thursday’s kickoff at Wendy’s in Ripley Thursday, Johnson addressed the crowd who gathered for the event, “Nicole loved life,” she said. “I love her and I’ll forever be her mom, but I’m also honored and humbled that she’s given me a new job as a donor mom and part of CORE and Donate Life West Virginia. Nicole lives on because she donated organs and tissue to those in need.”

Debbie Bright shared an emotional tribute to her brother Rod Hudson of Ripley, another organ/tissue donor, and a letter of thanks from someone who donated by Rod’s gift of life his donor status.
Holly Mitchell of CORE (organ procurement organization servinfg West Virginia, western Pennsylvania and Chemung County, NY) noted that thousands of families in West Virginia are part of Donte Life West Virginia as both organ donors and recipients of the gift of life from donors.

Wendy’s owner Rob Blackburn told the crowd how proud he is that Wendy’s is part of the campaign and how appropriate it was to kick it off in Ripley. On Thursday, April 24, from 4-8 p.m., all 56 participating Wendy’s in West Virginia will donate 10 percent of their sales to benefit Donate Life West Virginia awareness programs and donor family resources.
Mayor Carolyn Rader expressed her pride for the kickoff in Ripley and the importance of the campaign to everyone.
A flag-raising ceremony concluded the kickoff ceremony at Wendy’s of Ripley.

More than 800 West Virginians are on the waiting list to receive a transplant and a second chance at life.

All major religions approve of organ and tissue donation. Open casket funerals are possible for all organ and tissue donors.

Tragically, 18 people die each day in the US waiting for a transplant that never comes. One person can save eight lives through organ donations and can enhance the lives of more than 50 others through donations of tissue, bone and corneas.

For more information or to be become a donor, visit