Iowa Teen Chooses Donation

Iowa Teen Chooses Donation
Every Life Has a Story

Jose Javier Santos-Jimenez

July 16, 2000 – September 29,2018


Jose’s family referred to him as “Bebe” – the Spanish word for baby. “He had a heart so humble, gentle and caring, and was becoming such a responsible young man,” were the words chosen by his loving family to define young Jose.

Jose had recently graduated from Fairfield High School and was self-employed doing construction work. He was enjoying every day of his 18 years, until a fatal car accident abruptly ended his life in late September of 2018.

His sister, Briseyda, still grieves the loss of her younger brother, but recalls the day he went to get his IA driver’s license with their mother. He asked his mother if he could designate “donor” on his license and she said it was his decision. “Jose didn’t think twice about saying ‘yes’ because he wanted to help others if he could when he was gone. I know he is very happy with his donations, and so is my family. May he rest in peace.”

Jose’s unselfish example of giving to others provided a second chance at sight for two grateful cornea recipients.


National Minority Donor Awareness Day began over 20 years ago out of the need to bring a heightened awareness to donation and transplantation in minority and multicultural communities. This year it is celebrated the entire month of August to continue to provide education about organ, eye and tissue donation and transplantation, encourage donor registration and family conversations about donation, and promote healthy living and disease prevention to decrease the need for transplantation.