Versiti - Kimberly Lukes | Impact Stories

Kimberly Lukes

“If there’s any bright spot in losing a child or losing a loved one, it would be to know that their death isn’t just a death; they’re living on and helping other people live.”

Kimberly Lukes

“They always say your life can change in a second. And it does.”

Dave and Julie Lukes remember their daughter Kimberly as a fighter. “She was a preemie; she started out fighting,” Julie says. “She was a scrapper.” As a young girl, Kimberly loved horses, participating in a 4H stable program and training and showing her own horse. “She spent 90% of her free time in the stables; she probably would’ve slept there if we let her,” Julie says. “She loved people, and she loved her kids … she was a good-hearted person.”

In the spring of 2022, Kimberly was dropping off her kids at their grandparents’ house while she renewed her driver’s license at the DMV. Julie and Kim began talking about organ donation, and Julie asked Kim if she was an organ donor. “My feelings are, by the time I pass away if there’s anything that somebody can use, and I can’t use it anymore, why not help someone else?” Julie says. Kim agreed and signed her license that day.

Ten months later, tragedy struck when Kimberly experienced an aneurysm and fell back onto a concrete floor, hitting her head and causing a subdural bleed. She was rushed to the hospital, where doctors told her family there was no hope of recovery. Kim’s family, which has a personal connection to organ and tissue donation, honored Kim’s wishes and donated her corneas, liver, heart, lungs and one kidney. “When they approached us at the hospital, even if she hadn’t signed her license, as a family, we would have said yes to donation, just knowing what we know as a family,” Julie says.

The Lukes family has learned more about Kim’s recipients and has even been in contact with some of them. “I’m happy for them, but it’s hard; there’s nothing worse than losing a child,” Julie says. “If there’s any bright spot in losing a child or losing a loved one, it would be to know that their death isn’t just a death; they’re living on and helping other people live.”

Dave and Julie still struggle with the loss of their daughter but are comforted by the fact that her death wasn’t in vain. “To know that somebody else is able to live on doesn’t make it easier, but it helps in a way,” Julie says. “It’s a selfless act; I can’t imagine any greater gift. We are proud of Kim’s gifts and know that her children will be proud of their mom.”

Every 10 minutes, someone is added to the organ transplant waiting list.

Approximately 113,000 men, women, and children are waiting for life-saving organ transplants. One organ donor has the power to save up to eight lives and change the outcomes of someone’s world forever by giving them a second chance. Additionally, tissue donation can save and improve the lives of up to 75 people with their gifts. You can make a huge impact by registering as an organ and tissue donor.

Learn more about organ and tissue donation, or register as a donor at


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About Blood Donation
Donate blood, donate plasma or donate platelets at a blood donation center near you or a blood drive near you. Make an appointment to donate blood today.
Organ, Tissue & Eye Donation
Versiti Organ and Tissue is an organ procurement organization focused on increasing the Wisconsin donor registry though community outreach programs.
Share Your Story
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Impact Stories
Your blood, organ and tissue, and other donations directly impact lives in your community. Read a few of the examples of some of the lives that have been changed for the better.