The Katie Caples Foundation is committed to increasing the number of registered organ donors and eliminating the wait for the more than 125,000 adults and children in need of a lifesaving organ transplant.
The story of Katie Caples and how the foundation in her name was begun is both emotional and inspiring.
Learn how Katie's story inspires us to register.
The Katie Caples Foundation, a non-profit 501 (c) (3), 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.
Since 2005 the Foundation has delivered the message of the impact of organ donation to more than 150,000 individuals in the northeast Florida area. Partnerships with Mayo Clinic, University of Florida, Shands Hospital, DMVs and Tax Collectors’ offices have furthered the Foundation’s reach and in 2014 educational programming extended throughout 30 Florida counties. Since the creation of these programs, the number of young people between the ages of 15 – 18 who registered to become an organ donor increased by 381% in the area Foundation serves. Additionally, the Donor Designation Rate (in this same service area) consistently exceeds the State’s DDR by 20%.
Katie Caples designated herself as an organ donor when obtaining her driver license. That two-minute decision saved the lives of five others through organ donation and enhanced many more lives through her gift of tissue donation. Her story is ours to share.
Deciding to designate your wishes as an organ donor is one of the most important decisions you will make in your life. Sharing your life with others so that they can live on not only impacts organ and tissue recipients but also their family, friends and community.
We feel strongly that providing education is the real heartbeat of the Katie Caples Foundation. So much so that the Katie Caples Foundation formed a partnership with LifeQuest Organ Recovery Services, North Florida’s organ procurement organization, to provide funding for public education coordinators who develop powerful presentations aimed at educating high school students about organ and tissue donation and the impact of a lifesaving decision.
To date the Katie Caples Foundation in partnership with LifeQuest has educated over 140,000 students on the importance of organ and tissue donation. Those students are encouraged to go home and share this lifesaving message with their parents.
The education program is mainly aimed at high school students who are at the driving age and will be asked the question “Do you want to be an organ donor?” Our goal is to educate the students on who the recipients are, who the donors are and how the process works. We use professional videos to communicate powerful stories and frequently have organ recipients and donor families from our local community share their journey.
Education is key! The number of teenagers getting their license and saying “yes” to donation in our area leads the nation. The rate at which high school students in our donation service area join the registry is consistently a dozen points higher than the average for Florida’s average and 10 points higher than the national donor designation rate.