Brody Wilson: A Shining Star

Brody Wilson was the kid whom everybody wanted to be around. As an incoming freshman, he flourished in soccer, and had a passion for music and arts.

Brody’s parents signed him up to play soccer when he was 7. Brody worked his way up from the local league, earning a spot on the travelling team. Coaches admired his stamina and endurance. Once Brody had possession of the ball, he looked for teammates who were open for a pass. He understood the importance of teamwork.

When he wasn’t playing soccer, Brody enjoyed the performing arts. He played percussion in the school’s marching and jazz bands. He took center stage in school and community theater productions. Brody participated in the local theater arts camp where he learned about stage production and performed in Under the Sea. An on-stage literary competition that year, What a Contest, tapped into his competitive spirit.

When Brody passed away suddenly, he was eligible to become an organ and tissue donor. His parents, Steve and Carla, were asked to authorize donation, since Brody was not yet 18.  The choice was a simple one for them. Steve said, “We believe that our bodies are just shells that we live in for a while. Under the circumstances, his shell might as well be used to save others’ lives. It was just the right thing to do.” Brody’s parents found comfort in knowing that Brody’s selflessness throughout his life would also continue with his passing.

Steve and Carla have heard from a teenager who was helped through Brody’s tissue donation.  She was injured and needed surgery to play her favorite sport again: soccer.

A mother wrote to Steve and Carla to share how her young daughter’s life was saved because she received Brody’s liver.

One day, Steve and Carla received a long, heartfelt letter from another recipient, Danielle, who received the gift of Brody’s intestine. She was in hospice care and given just 24 hours to live when the call came in that her transplant was possible. Carla and Steve’s worst day became Danielle’s best day.

Through the life-saving gift of donation, the Wilson family knew Brody would continue to impact the lives of others. What they did not suspect was that the connections they made would help to heal them. Steve and Carla communicate regularly with Danielle and are making plans to meet her in person in the coming year. This new chapter in life has created a new friendship.

Be a star, register your decision to be an organ, eye and tissue donor, today!

Visit Illinois High School Association

Brody is among the Illinois student-athletes that the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) and Donate Life Illinois honor along with their families and communities for saying “yes” to organ, tissue and eye donation. For the fifth year in 2022, we are partnering with IHSA to encourage high school students to become educated about donation and “Say Yes” to joining the Illinois Organ/Tissue Donor Registry upon receiving their driver’s licenses.