Living donors gather at Millennium Park to celebrate and promote organ donation

By Jessy Zhou
Medill Reports

Meeting in front of a kidney-bean-shaped piece of art holds additional symbolism for Kate Griggs. She came to Millennium Park to pose for a photo in front of Cloud Gate — an iconic sculpture better known to Chicagoans as “The Bean” — with others who have donated a kidney or other organ to a person needing a transplant.

Griggs became a living donor in 2016 when she donated one of her kidneys to a stranger. Soon after, she started this gathering of fellow donors, to raise awareness about organ donation and to encourage others to register as living donors.

Now, the  group meets in Chicago every April for National Donate Life month. Last year, 410 donors met up in front of the sculpture, setting the Guinness World record for largest-ever gathering of living organ donors.

Photo at top: Living donors, dressed in green and blue t-shirts, pose on April 13, 2019 in front of “the Bean” in Chicago’s Millennium Park to celebrate National Donate Life Month. (Photo credit: Kate Griggs)