PennDOT and The Gift Of Life

BLOOMSBURG — April is Donate Life month and PennDOT is encouraging people to sign up.

About 3 1/2 years ago, a car went out of control in Columbia County near Bloomsburg and killed Paul Penkala, 16, of Hazleton.

The high school student’s family decided to donate five of his organs to the Gift of Life program.

His father said he will never forget the family’s choice.

“It’s a very powerful decision to make and get five people who were close to the brink of death, some of them who are alive because of that,” Paul Penkala said.

A video produced by the state is available at 20 PennDOT driver license centers. It explains the gift of life program and encourages people to sign up and have the donor designation on their license or ID.

D. J. Ventura didn’t see the program but said he just signed up anyway.

“You should open your heart to do it and not worry about the flesh that stays here when our souls move on.”

Patty Hunsicker wishes she could sign up but said she can’t.

“We have diabetes in the family and heart conditions and there is medical issues,” Hunsicker explained.

Paul Penkala said knowing PennDOT is promoting the Gift of Life program reduces the grief of losing his son.

“I think it’s about time. I think the one spot people get their first glimpse at organ donation is at the driver license center.”

If you want more information how you can become an organ donor or want more information about the program, click here.



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