Blog & Media Releases

Tree of Life

by Pleshette Mims | Aug 02, 2018

The incredible partnership between Donate Life Florida and the Lee County Tax Collector’s Office has continued to grow and strengthen through the years because of the generosity of the SWFL community members who chose to donate their organs. The partnership began in 2012 in support of a now-retired employee, Kathy Jackson, who was a kidney transplant recipient. The first Tree of Life was unveiled in April 2013 in dedication to Danielle Bogue, a heroic young woman who saved lives through organ and tissue donation.

The Lee County Tax Collector unveiled two more Trees of Life in July 2018; one at the Bonita Springs office and one at the Downtown Fort Myers office, as memorials to two incredible SWFL teens who generously donated their organs and changed others’ lives forever. The Tree of Life is a permanent visual dedication to organ, tissue and eye donation and a memorial to those who have given these Gifts of Life.

Alexis Bonadies, an energetic and light-hearted 15-year-old Riverdale High School student, passed away after experiencing an unexpected medical event while exercising. Bonadies’ parents honored the decision she made when she received her driver permit – the decision to be an organ, eye and tissue donor. Her choice saved three lives and impacted many more. Alexis continues to inspire her family, friends and community as they remember the young teen whose courageous decision lives on in those who received her gifts of life through organ and tissue donation. LCTC honored Alexis and unveiled her Tree of Life mural on Friday, July 13, 2018 at the Bonita Springs Tax Collector’s Office.

The life of Erik William Babatz, a smart 16-year-old boy who was dual enrolled at Fort Myers High School and Florida SouthWestern State College, was cut short following a fatal car crash. Erik was a registered organ and tissue donor, a decision he proudly made while getting his driver license. As a result of that decision, Erik saved five lives and impacted countless others through the gifts of his corneas and tissues. When reflecting on Erik’s gifts of life through organ, eye and tissue donation, Erik’s family shares their thankfulness that despite this tragedy, he could still help others in need. Alex’s life was celebrated on Monday, July 16, 2018 at the Downtown Fort Myers Tax Collector’s Office.

Donate Life Florida and the Lee County Tax Collector hope that the gift of life from these generous organ donors will continue to benefit the community by inspiring and educating others on the impact of organ donation.

The incredible partnership between Donate Life Florida and the Lee County Tax Collector’s Office has continued to grow and strengthen through the years because of the generosity of the SWFL community members who chose to donate their organs. The partnership began in 2012 in support of a now-retired employee, Kathy Jackson, who was a kidney transplant recipient. The first Tree of Life was unveiled in April 2013 in dedication to Danielle Bogue, a heroic young woman who saved lives through organ and tissue donation.

The Lee County Tax Collector unveiled two more Trees of Life in July 2018; one at the Bonita Springs office and one at the Downtown Fort Myers office, as memorials to two incredible SWFL teens who generously donated their organs and changed others’ lives forever. The Tree of Life is a permanent visual dedication to organ, tissue and eye donation and a memorial to those who have given these Gifts of Life.

Alexis Bonadies, an energetic and light-hearted 15-year-old Riverdale High School student, passed away after experiencing an unexpected medical event while exercising. Bonadies’ parents honored the decision she made when she received her driver permit – the decision to be an organ, eye and tissue donor. Her choice saved three lives and impacted many more. Alexis continues to inspire her family, friends and community as they remember the young teen whose courageous decision lives on in those who received her gifts of life through organ and tissue donation. LCTC honored Alexis and unveiled her Tree of Life mural on Friday, July 13, 2018 at the Bonita Springs Tax Collector’s Office.

The life of Erik William Babatz, a smart 16-year-old boy who was dual enrolled at Fort Myers High School and Florida SouthWestern State College, was cut short following a fatal car crash. Erik was a registered organ and tissue donor, a decision he proudly made while getting his driver license. As a result of that decision, Erik saved five lives and impacted countless others through the gifts of his corneas and tissues. When reflecting on Erik’s gifts of life through organ, eye and tissue donation, Erik’s family shares their thankfulness that despite this tragedy, he could still help others in need. Alex’s life was celebrated on Monday, July 16, 2018 at the Downtown Fort Myers Tax Collector’s Office.

Donate Life Florida and the Lee County Tax Collector hope that the gift of life from these generous organ donors will continue to benefit the community by inspiring and educating others on the impact of organ donation.