A Pride for Donation Advocacy

Behind the podcast: Hear Shawna Hall tell how the decision to authorize organ and tissue donation for her wife spurred her passion for advocacy to minority communities in Chicago on our Let’s Talk Hope podcast at letstalkhopepodcast.com or wherever you find your podcasts.

Shawna and Yvetta Hall first met at the Chicago school where they both worked. They shared a passion for education and increasing literacy in minority communities. They supported each other as Yvetta completed her doctorate degree in education and Shawna pursued her career in school administration.

They married and had five happy years together before Yvetta became ill. When she passed away, Yvetta was not a registered organ and tissue donor. Shawna decided to authorize the donation of her wife’s organs and tissues because she believed it was the right thing to do.

“Because of the passion that she had to give back… and because she was just a giver overall, I, as her wife decided that what better gift than to give in this capacity,” Shawna says.

That decision introduced Shawna to Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network. After Yvetta was gone, Shawna began to attend events Gift of Hope held for the families of donors. She celebrates her wife’s life and the memories they made together.

“Gift of Hope has helped me find ways to honor Yvetta’s life—to celebrate instead of living under a dark cloud,” Shawna said.

She was inspired to volunteer for Gift of Hope and educate others about donation. In honor of her wife, Shawna spent one Saturday morning at a coffee shop in Chicago’s Englewood  neighborhood, sharing information about donation and free drinks. Later, she represented Gift of Hope on a webinar to educate doctors and nurses about the donation process.

Shawna is aware that a lack of knowledge about organ and tissue donation can keep people from choosing to be donors. She works with Gift of Hope community outreach workers to share the process of donation, motivated by her own experience. In the LGBTQ+ and Black and Brown communities around Chicago, Shawna listens to concerns about donation and shares facts to correct misunderstandings.

An educator at work and at heart, Shawna uses her skills to help those in minority communities. Yvetta’s legacy lives on in the pride and passion she feels for sharing information about organ and tissue donation and her own story.

Register your decision today to become an organ, eye and tissue donor. Talk with your family and friends about your decision to donate life.