In 2014, Danielle Wolfe’s brother suffered a traumatic brain injury in a motorcycle accident that left him on life support, in a vegetative state and unable to care for his son.
Realizing he would have to live in a nursing home for the rest of his life, the Thornton resident and her family made the difficult decision to remove him from life support and donate his organs to people who needed a second chance at life. The family contacted Donor Alliance, a federally designated nonprofit that facilitates organ and tissue donation in Colorado, and which helped the family through the process.
Mike’s donated kidneys saved two lives.
“The donation process was the most amazing experience we could have possibly had in our situation,” said Wolfe, an intensive care nurse. “For what a terrible experience it was, it was the most peaceful and beautiful death I have ever experienced. The staff made us feel so comfortable and gave each one of us, including Mike, respect and dignity.”
In the midst of losing her brother, Wolfe said she found solace in knowing Mike’s death would provide new life.
Since her brother’s donation, Wolfe has become a dedicated volunteer and advocate for Donate Life Colorado, an online donor registry. She speaks to people about the benefits of organ and tissue donation, works to breaks down barriers people may feel surrounding donation and encourages people to register to be a donor.
Wolfe will be sharing her story during this year’s Donor Dash July 19 at Washington Park in Denver. The 5K honors the lives of organ-and-tissue donors, celebrates the lives of organ-and-tissue recipients and recognizes those who continue to wait for a lifesaving transplant.
More than 5,000 people are expected to attend.
“We are so excited to be celebrating our 16th year of this wonderful event and are thrilled to be joined by so many special people from across our area who have been touched by donation,” said Sue Dunn, president and CEO of Donor Alliance. “To have this many advocates for donation in the same place at the same time makes it an emotional event, but one that looks forward to a future of a shorter wait for lifesaving transplants.”
On-site event registration begins at 7 a.m. followed by the race start at 8 a.m. July 19. Cost is $35 for adults, $15 for youth and seniors, and children under three are free for the Diaper Dash. To register, visit