About promoting organ donation, Jayne Stanyon says, "I truly feel my girls guiding me." Here she visits a children's hospital in Loma Linda.
Photo: Stan Lim/ The Press- Enterprise
Jayne and Peter Stanyon know the pain of losing a child.
Both of their children were killed in separate car crashes.
Helping other people has helped the couple cope with their loss.
"I truly feel my girls guiding me," Jayne Stanyon said.
Last week, the Canyon Lake couple took toys to children in the solid organ unit at Loma Linda University Medical Center Children's Hospital.
The unit cares for children with heart, kidney and liver problems, including those who recently had transplants and some who are waiting for one.
"It means a lot to the family to know someone outside the hospital cares," said Dorothy Clark-Brooks, child life specialist at hospital. "Some of the parents don't have time to go shopping or they don't have the funds to buy gifts."
The Stanyons were joined at the hospital by Sergio Gomez, a 2005 kidney recipient from Huntington Park, and Sonia Navarro, a representative of One Legacy with offices in Redlands and Los Angeles.
One Legacy is a nonprofit organ-donor network agency that serves seven Southern California counties, including San Bernardino and Riverside.
One Legacy works with Donate Life, a national organ-donor registry, to match donated organs with people in need.
Giving gifts to hospitalized children was Gomez's idea, a thought born out of his own stay in the hospital, he said.
"I spent time in the hospital one Christmas. I wasn't able to go shopping for my children," Gomez said.
When the Stanyons learned what Gomez was doing, they immediately got on board. Their Heart-to-Heart organization donated $1,000 toward the toy purchase, Jayne Stanyon said.
Heart-to-Heart is a nonprofit organ-donor awareness group the Stanyons started after their second daughter was killed.
In 2003, the couple's oldest daughter, Kirsty Stanyon , 22, died instantly in a crash on Interstate 5 in Corona.
Two years later, their second daughter, Hollie Fouts, 20, died shortly after a collision in Menifee.
"When the doctor told me Hollie wasn't going to survive, I just couldn't believe it was happening again," Jayne Stanyon said.
When a representative from One Legacy came to Stanyon to ask if she was willing to donate Fouts' organs, she immediately agreed because she knew it was her daughter's wish.
"She wanted to be a pediatric nurse. She wanted to save children's lives," Stanyon said.
Fouts' organs were transplanted into six people, including a Wildomar woman who sends the couple a card every Christmas, Stanyon said.
Whenever the opportunity arises, Stanyon speaks out for organ donation.
She wears three rubber bracelets, two pink, one for each daughter, and one green with the words Donate Life.
People often ask about the bracelets, which give her an opportunity to tell her story she said.
On New Year's Day, Donate Life will have a float in the Rose Parade decorated with the likenesses of several organ donors.
Fouts will be among those depicted on the float. The Stanyons recently decorated their daughter's floragraph with petals and seeds.
Gomez will be among the organ recipients riding on the float.
“You Have the Power to Save Lives – Sign Your Donor Card & Tell Your Loved Ones of Your Decision”
Your generosity can save up to eight lives with heart, kidneys, liver, lungs, pancreas and small intestine transplants. One tissue donor can help up to 100 other people by donating skin, corneas, bone, tendon, ligaments and heart valves
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