GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.- Allison Vogel’s story begins with tragedy, but now inspires and educates others.
Vogel lost her son Tanner Denton in a car accident in August of 2016, he was 23.
In the aftermath of his death, Vogel says Tanner helped save the lives of others through organ, eye, and tissue donation.
“He was very passionate about organ donation,” Vogel said. “He had a conversation with his family just a few months before his auto accident to make sure we were all donors. And letting us know he was a registered donor.”
Vogel says after Tanner died, he helped save the lives of two others through kidney donation. Tanner being an organ, eye, and tissue donor also helped a woman in Ireland restore her sight in one eye. Allison says these inspiring stories all stemming from her son being an organ donor lead her to volunteer with organizations like the Donor Alliance and Donate Life Colorado.
Vogel teaches pharmacology and medical sciences at Western Colorado Community College. She uses this experience to travel around Colorado and Wyoming to teach transplantation science courses on behalf of the Donor Alliance. These courses are all about informing others about the significance and process of organ donation before people decide whether to become an organ donor.
Vogel explains the stories of how much Tanner’s organ donations have helped others has given her strength moving forward.
“It is like a bright spot in your darkest day,” Vogel said. “Knowing that your child is gone, but he will still be able to save the lives of others. “
She says everyone should have a conversation with their loved ones before making a decision to become a donor.
“It is very important to make your loved ones aware of what your wishes are,” Vogel said “But also find out what their wishes are in the event that anything would happen to them.”
Vogel says Tanner had a tremendous, big heart, and was passionate about baseball and coaching younger kids in the sport. She says she knows tanner would be proud of the work she’s done in honor of him.
“As important as organ donation was to him, to keep that message going in his honor, I think he would think that’s a pretty cool thing.”