Bill Conner is honoring his late daughter Abigail with a 2,000-mile cross-country bike ride.
Abigail, 20, and her brother wwere found “unconscious, face down in chest deep water” in a resort pool in Cancun over winter break. Conner’s son survived, but sadly, Abigail didn’t make it.
“The loss of my daughter’s life is obviously beyond tragic, however, it has allowed four males from the ages of 20-60 to live because Abigail was an organ donor. Abigail’s eyes and tissues were also used, which means even more people are living better lives with her donations,” Conner wrote on a GoFundMe page.
Determined to honor Abigail and bring awareness to the impact of organ donation (and help him deal with his own grief), Conner is on a 2,000-mile bike read from his hometown of Madison, Wisconsin, to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
Along the way, he stopped to meet with his daughter’s heart recipient, a 21-year-old Louisiana man who had a heart attack and desperately needed a transplant to survive.
In an emotional video posted to Donate Life Louisiana’s Facebook page, Conner is seen meeting Loumonth Jack Jr. for the first time.
The father, wearing his biking gear, hugs Jack tightly before listening to Abigail’s heart on a stethoscope. With tears in his eyes, he holds Jack and says, “Well, it’s working.”
Conner has raised over $20,000 for Donate Life America, with some funds used for his bike trip.
“Helping people and coming to their aid in a time of need, knowing that your child, spouse, family or your friends have allowed someone else to live due to their generosity will be a comforting moment in the midst of your own tragedy,” writes Conner on his GoFundMe page.