August 15, 2023

Why Support Matters During Your Grief Journey

Written by: Shirley Lam

One of the hardest facts of life is that loss is inevitable. When you lose someone, you love, it seems like the wound may never heal due to the daily reminders of them no longer being physically present. The grief journey that follows this loss is unique to everyone and not linear. While many look inward for answers and comfort, others seek out this support beyond themselves, lessening the load they carry. However, you deal with such a personal experience, remember that you don’t need to go through it alone. This is an intense journey and receiving help along the way is necessary for many. Nevada Donor Network is very proud to offer our courageous donor families many grief resources. Seeking this support is something we encourage, and we hope this story inspires you and gives support for those looking for help. 

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On July 30, 2023, Donate Life Arizona hosted an Arizona Diamondbacks game to recognize heroic organ, eye and tissue donor families along with grateful recipients. This special night celebrated the life of their loved one or honored their heroic donor. Before the first pitch, hundreds of people with a connection to donation moved around the diamond in matching green shirts while holding photos or posters of their loved ones in a ‘celebration of life’ parade. In the stands, there were hundreds more donation champions and professional partners, cheering them on.

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Among the large crowd, Gino Colucci and his daughter, Melody, were there to remember wife and mother, Raquel Colucci. Raquel was able to save the lives of five people through organ donation and heal up to 75 people through tissue donation. Gino shared about his wife, “Raquel was a true angel on Earth, always putting the needs of others before her own. Her love for animals was unmatched, and she always made sure that every furry friend she met felt loved and cared for. People gravitated towards her, and she was a social butterfly. She affected and forever changed the lives of many people. She always stood out in a crowded room with her gorgeous smile, she radiated and beamed with confidence.”

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After knowing one another for 30 years, Raquel’s death was unfathomable. Soon after, Gino joined Nevada Donor Network’s virtual Men’s Grief Support Group where he met a fellow donor husband, Charles Lee. Suffering similar losses, the two immediately formed a strong bond. When Gino mentioned honoring Raquel at the Arizona Diamondbacks’ game, Charles and group co-facilitator Shirley Lam couldn’t miss the opportunity to meet Gino and Melody in person. Together, they honored Raquel during the ‘celebration of life’ parade.  
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Gino shared that it took over a year of extremely difficult times for him and Melody to begin writing Raquel’s life story. They became motivated after receiving a letter from Raquel’s heart recipient. They share Raquel’s story in hopes to inspire people to register to become donors. In honor of Raquel, you too can register to become a donor here
Are you interested in our virtual grief support groups for adults, men-only, children and teens? Learn more here