He was a husband, father and grandfather. He was also an art teacher, a skilled gardener and an avid antique collector.
Daniel Monroe was all these things and much more, recalls his daughter, Heather. “He loved to read and had an enormous appetite for learning,” she says. “His humble and generous spirit was evident to all who knew him.”
He was a kind human being and open to the idea of tissue donation, she says. It was a gift that provided hope for others and comfort for the family after his death.
Daniel had been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He fought the cancer for a year before it spread out of control.
“During this time, my father was very clear about his wishes,” Heather says. “He did not want a funeral. Dad was always one who believed in serving the community and contributing to society at large.”
Daniel passed away under hospice care surrounded by his family. One of his hospice nurses offered information about whole-body donation for medical research and training through the Biological Resource Center of Illinois. “We found it to be a perfect fit for a man who was intrigued by science and devoted his career to educating young people,” Heather says.
The donation process was straightforward, compassionate and free, she says. The Center returned Daniel’s cremated remains to the family. And several weeks after his death, the family was informed of how his donated body tissues were used to help advance medical procedures.
“It is always painful to lose someone you love, but we feel a sense of comfort and pride knowing that others may be helped by my father’s donation,” Heather says. She notes that Biological Resource Center of Illinois holds an annual memorial service at a garden and monument dedicated to people like her father who have made the gift of whole-body donation.
“I would encourage others to consider organ and tissue donation,” she says. “It is a generous and meaningful legacy.”