Pedal for Life group remembers Donaldsonville organ donor

Leslie D. Rose @DvilleNewsie

DONALDSONVILLE– On Oct. 22, a group of cyclists on a life-saving mission stopped for a brief visit, on their way to New Orleans for the Donate Life America conference.

Beginning their long distance journey at Kinnick Football Stadium in Iowa City, Iowa, the team of cyclists included Bruce and Tiffini Brockway, riding in honor of their son, Garrett. The Brockway’s Team Garrett riders made a point to stop in Donaldsonville’s Louisiana Square to celebrate the life of Shawn Elizabeth Guillot.

Both the Guillots and Brockways know not just the pain of losing their children, but also the joy of watching their lost loved ones give life.

More than 20 years ago, Don and Peggy Guillot’s 15-year-old daughter, Shawn Elizabeth, gave life to six people and sight to two others as an organ donor after her tragic death. In 2013, the Brockway’s son, 10-year-old Garrett, became an organ and tissue donor, saving five lives, and helping to improve vision for two others.

Peggy Guillot, who has been an organ donor activist since her daughter’s passing, set up the meet with the cyclists. She contacted Louisiana Organ Procurement Agency (LOPA), Mayor Leroy Sullivan – who gave The Brockways ‘the key to the city’ and Ascension Catholic High School – where Shawn Elizabeth was a student at the time of her passing.

As the cyclists rode into the Square, students from Ascension Catholic waved green pom poms given to them by LOPA, and one student even donned the heart costume – symbolizing organ donation.

The purpose of Pedal for life is to raise awareness about organ donation. The event served as both an awareness function and a celebration of remembrance. Balloons were launched and awareness items, such as bracelets and green ribbons were passed out.

Following the meet in Donaldsonville, the Guillots and the cyclists headed to New Orleans, where Peggy Guillot was the featured speaker, representing Louisiana donor families, at the Donate Life America conference.