Fiorentini, LePage Proclaim April as ‘Donate Life’ Month in Haverhill

Mayor James J. Fiorentini (joined by Rep. Linda Dean Campbell and City Councilor Colin F. LePage) welcomed members of the Donate Life organization to City Hall Tuesday, April 10. (WHAV News photograph)

Mayor James Fiorentini Tuesday proclaimed April as ‘Donate Life’ Month, marking the sixth year Haverhill has participated in the organ donation awareness program.

During his official proclamation at City Hall, Fiorentini said he was inspired by the efforts of Matthew Boger and New England Donor Services to become an organ donor himself.

While Fiorentini signed up online, residents can take advantage of Haverhill’s Registry of Motor Vehicles as a local resource to register. The RMV’s City Hall location allows for voluntary sign ups when residents renew their license or state ID card.

The lasting impact of organ donation has had a profound effect on Haverhill City Councilor Colin LePage and his family.

Speaking at Tuesday’s event, LePage read a letter from the 62-year-old man who received his son Christopher’s liver after the 30-year-old died in 2015. In an ironic twist, the recipient named David struggled with substance abuse just as Christopher had.

LePage got choked up explaining, in David’s own words, just what Christopher’s donation meant.

“I want to say thank you and wanted you to know the good that will be done in thousands of lives because of your donation," LePage read. Part of him now lives in me "and whenever I stand to speak, I say ‘thank you for this family,’ whom I can now connect to in a way that is nothing short of a miracle.”

As 5,000 patients of all ages across New England wait for an organ, state Rep. Linda Dean Campbell is especially encouraged by the amount of young people who have signed up to donate.

“They automatically sign up for donor registration when they got to the RMV," said Campbell. "Their friends do it, and don’t even think twice about it. It gives us great hope in spite of the waiting list."

Haverhill residents can register to become an organ donor at the RMV during regular business hours at 4 Summer St.