It was supposed to be a happy day. Tracie Rotuno’s daughter, Lindsey, was celebrating her junior prom with her boyfriend. On the way home, tragedy struck. Lindsey was a passenger in a car that drove onto a grassy median and struck two utility poles. She died at the scene.
Lindsey was a naturally caring person – she simply wanted to make a difference. She was genuinely caring, kindhearted and empathetic to those around her. Her beautiful smile was like a ray of sunshine that could lighten even the darkest of rooms. She loved life, she loved to laugh and she loved making those around her happy.
Tracie remembers how excited Lindsey was when she found out she could donate blood after her sixteenth birthday. Lindsey wanted to donate because she knew it could help someone in need, possibly even save someone’s life. She carried her LifeShare Donor Id card in her wallet right next to her driver’s license and wore her LifeShare Donor t-shirts proudly. After graduating high school, Lindsey wanted to obtain her bachelors degree in toxicology and study in the criminal justice field. “Helping people is a great feeling, and making a career out of it is my dream.” Those are Lindsey’s words written on a college application letter assignment she wrote her junior year of high school.
Lindsey serves as Tracie’s inspiration, and the reason she now donates blood. “I donate because my daughter no longer can; I donate in her honor and memory. I believe that her beautiful soul will continue to live on through every act of kindness that I or anyone else whose life she touched can do because of her.”
On October 25, 2017, Tracie donated blood for the first time in her life. Then, on Wednesday November 15, 2017, she received a text message from LifeShare informing her that her donation had been sent to a hospital to help a patient needing a transfusion. She immediately thought of Lindsey and how “they” made a difference. Tracie has donated twice since then, and will continue to donate as long as she is able.
Tracie’s advice to those thinking about donating? No one is promised tomorrow. A simple act of kindness such as donating blood will cost you nothing, yet could mean everything for someone whose life is depending on it.