Stories of Hope

Cliff Gionet

Donor Dad

“The transplant gift from your loved one enables me to now walk and care for my wife who is confined to a wheelchair with MS (multiple sclerosis),” Cliff Gionet, donor father, recited from memory.

Cliff’s son, Jason, was born and raised in Gainesville. Following his graduation from Gainesville High School, he attended the University of Florida, where he received his bachelor’s degree in business.

After college, Jason chose to stay in Gainesville among his family and friends. He married and became a successful certified financial planner. While at work one morning, Jason choked to death at his desk. He was 31 years old.

Unknown to his family, Jason heroically registered as an organ and tissue donor on his driver license. Through his gift of tissue donation, Jason enhanced the lives of more than 75 people.

“My son’s death was the day I died as well,” Cliff said. “Hope, faith, belief and spirit were all lost to me. When our family received the letter from the recipient of some of Jason’s spinal column, I began to realize that I might be able to spread the word of Jason’s decision to be a tissue and organ donor and encourage others to make the same choice.”

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