Blog & Media Releases

Tree of Life

by User Not Found | Feb 23, 2018

The Lee County Tax Collector’s office has had a wonderful working relationship with Donate Life Florida, a service of the Life Link Foundation. The partnership began back in 2012 in support of a now retired employee, Kathy Jackson, who was a kidney transplant recipient. In April 2014, we unveiled our first Tree of Life at the South Fort Myers office during National Donate Life Month in dedication to Danielle Bogue – a Fort Myers native who lost her life in a tragic car accident.

Danielle was living in Fort Myers and only 22 when she passed, but she has had a tremendous impact. Her organs have saved the lives of five people and her donated tissues improved the lives of dozens more.

Andrew Spehr was a young veteran in need of a transplant. Since receiving Danielle’s heart in the spring of 2007, he has continued to volunteer for Life Link and share his experience so others might also be saved through organ donation. Andrew kept in contact with his donor’s family and seven years later decided it was time for them to meet.

Hannah Bogue was an infant when she lost her mother, Danielle, after the two were involved in a car accident. Hannah had only known of her mother through photos and stories shared by loved ones, causing her to struggle with a real connection. It wasn’t until Hannah and Andrew met in person that gave Hannah the connection she was looking for. Hannah pressed the stethoscope to Andrew’s chest and for the first time since she was four months old, was able to listen to the sound of her mother’s beating heart. Hannah was also given the opportunity to honor her mother’s generous gifts as an organ donor during the 2015 annual Rose Parade in Pasadena, California.

The incredible partnership between Donate Life Florida and the Lee County Tax Collector’s office has continued to grow and strengthen through the years and we will be unveiling two more Trees of Life this year.