Mother’s life of service lives on through donation
Amid the trauma of her husband’s sudden death, Monica Butler found a bit of hope and relief upon hearing that Marcus, her 47-year-old spouse of just over nine years, was a candidate for organ donation.
“It is what he would have wanted,” Monica says.
Marcus suffered a fatal asthma attack on Sept. 28, 2020. As Monica was losing her husband, a woman in her 60s was saved with the gift of Marcus’s kidney, and a man in his 50s got the heart he had long been waiting for.
Dealing with such loss can leave a person bitter, Monica says, but she made the conscious choice to remain grateful—not only for the life she enjoyed with Marcus, but for the lives he saved through organ donation.
Marcus gave of himself in life as well as in death. He was a deacon at Greater All Nations Tabernacle and was a father figure and mentor not only to his own two children, Kennedy and Marcus Jr., but also to countless young men in need of a positive role model in their lives. He was a coach at The Outlet, a nonprofit organization in Springfield serving fatherless boys and young men through mentoring. Several of those young men attended Marcus’s funeral and shared stories of how Marcus had improved their lives.
In telling Marcus’ story, Monica says she hopes members of their community can see through the myths surrounding organ donation and realize that others are living because of her husband’s gift. Monica says she feels as if Marcus is living on in the lives of those he helped.
Monica and Marcus had discussed organ donation and knew her husband wanted his organs to benefit others in the case of his death. Yet when it came time to make the decision, Monica struggled. It was with the help of a representative from Gift of Hope that Monica was finally able to fulfill her husband’s wishes and say yes to donation.
She asked the Gift of Hope representative to speak at her husband’s funeral and to share with those in attendance the importance of organ donation.
Throughout August 2021, Marcus is honored on street pole banners in downtown Springfield, along 5th Street between Washington and Capitol streets, in recognition of National Minority Donor Awareness Month.
He is celebrated as a father, loving husband, mentor and sports fanatic who loved God and his church, with a message to honor him and all those who say yes to donation.
Join the Organ and Tissue Donor Registry by Clicking Here or Texting HOPE to 51555.