Jacksonville Transplant Alliance
The Jacksonville Transplant Alliance is a community of individuals and transplant-related organizations in the Northeast Florida area who are dedicated to supporting area transplant patients and providing donor education to those in our community.
The JTA board members mourn the loss of David Caples, co-founder of the Katie Caples Foundation and Katie Ride for Life. David passed away on March 20 in Fernandina Beach, Florida, where he lived with his wife Susan. The Katie Caples Foundation has been a member organization of JTA since 2007.
The Katie Caples Foundation was founded by David and Susan Caples in the fall of 1998 after the death of their daughter Katie. Katie had just turned 17 and as a new driver she had recently made the decision to register as an organ donor. Her ultimate act of generosity saved the lives of 5 individuals (aged 9 to 62) and further enhanced the lives of several others.
In 2005, the foundation created The Katie Ride for Life to raise awareness about organ donation and to raise funds to support the Foundation’s expanding Organ Donor Registration Education programs. The ride provided an opportunity to create media attention and communicate the impact Katie had as an organ donor. Proceeds from the Katie Ride support the foundation’s organ donor education program.
The Katie Caples Foundation, in partnership with LifeQuest Organ Recovery Services, has educated over 140,000 students on the importance of organ and tissue donation. Those students are encouraged to share this life-saving message with their families.
Here's a brief message about David from the Katie Ride for Life page on Facebook:
"David Caples has joined our hero Katie and we ask that you keep Susan and the family in your thoughts and prayers. David entered everlasting rest on Saturday, March 20, 2021 after a brief illness. His magnetic and dynamic presence will forever be in our hearts and his imprint is on so many who he mentored, cared for and loved. David made a huge, positive difference in the donation and transplant community. He led the Katie Caples Foundation with passion and a commitment to our cause inspiring people across the globe with his unwavering belief that lives could be saved once people knew how important it is to register as an organ, tissue and eye donor."
To honor David and to support the cause which he so richly gave of himself, please consider making a donation to the Katie Caples Foundation.
David's obituary can be read here.
National Donate Life Month (NDLM) was established by Donate Life America and its partnering organizations in 2003. Observed in April each year, National Donate Life Month helps to encourage Americans to register as organ, eye and tissue donors and to honor those that have saved lives through the gift of donation.
Donate Life America will be taking an online approach for April Donate Life Month observances. Please join us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and DonateLife.net to help us honor donors, recipients, and their families and caregivers. We will also be recognizing the clinical teams continuing their dedicated work during this time to help honor the gift of donation and save the lives of those waiting for a second chance at life.
Based on the positive feedback from the community regarding the 2020 theme and in light of the impact of COVID-19, we will be continuing with the “Garden of Life” theme for National Donate Life Month 2021.
Donate Life America was inspired by the springtime scene of a garden. A garden and the insects within in it serve as symbols of hope, courage and transformed life — themes repeatedly found within the donation and transplantation journey.
The Donate Life garden depicts an ecosystem of plants, insects, and other components working together to form an interconnected living system. Similarly, we each have the potential to nurture and enrich our communities through organ, eye and tissue donation. This National Donate Life Month, we ask you to be a part of this lifesaving and healing garden by registering as an organ, eye and tissue donor; becoming educated about living donation; and championing the Donate Life cause.
We wish you a Happy National Donate Life Month. Thank you for your efforts in promoting organ, eye and tissue donation and the importance of registering your decision.
2021 has started out with some very promising COVID-19 vaccinations from a variety of pharmaceutical manufacturers. With the new vaccines and continuing compliance of mask wearing and social distancing, we may just be able to get back to a normal life by this fall. If we can do that, if we can stay vigilant and compliant and patient, perhaps we can get control of this virus instead of it controlling us.
But since we still live in a state of uncertainty, Donate Life Month events in April are once again cancelled or moved online. Safety is still key. We will bring you updates and announcements of any upcoming events in our area or that you can participate in online.
As the days, weeks, and months ahead continue to unfold, we hope that the success of a safe COVID vaccine will allow us to once again join in celebration next fall. In anticipation of that, the JTA Board Members have chosen the date of Saturday, October 23rd for next year's event. The Tribute to Life donor recognition ceremony will be held the evening before.
Tribute to Life - Friday, October 22, 2021
Gift of Life Celebration - Saturday, October 23, 2021
Both events will be at Christ Episcopal Church in Ponte Vedra Beach.
There will be much more information to come as the spring and summer months approach. Watch your email for details and of course, we will keep our Facebook page updated.
Please stay safe and stay well throughout 2021.
Signing up on your state registry means that someday you could save up tp 8 lives as an organ donor by giving the Gift of Life. When you register, most states let you choose what organs and tissues you want to donate, and you can update your status at any time.
Florida residents, you can register online to be an organ, eye, and tissue donor at www.DonateLifeFlorida.org.
If you're a U.S. resident outside Florida, you can locate your state's donor registry at OrganDonor.gov.
The Jacksonville Transplant Alliance board of directors is happy to announce three new board members!
Thank you to all our volunteer board members for their dedication and service not just to JTA, not just to the organizations they work for, but also to all the transplant patients, living donors, and donor families in the Northeast Florida area.
Our Facebook group is active, full of good information, and is the quickest and easiest way to get updates on our events and the latest transplant news. We are a private group so you must ask to join. Click below to join us!