Stories of Hope: Brittany Crawford

Brittany-CrawfordBrittany’s father, Keith Crawford, remembers his daughter as a “natural born leader with a spirit of giving”. At 20 years old in April of 2012, she was in her second year at City College of San Francisco with hopes of someday becoming an attorney serving youth in her community. Brittany also loved music and as a teen, worked as an intern at KMEL-106.1 FM in San Francisco, where she met R&B singer, songwriter and producer Usher, and produced her own demo that she used as her own ring tone.

Brittany’s family also remembers her infectious smile. “I loved Brittany’s life force. She was a gregarious young lady who had lots of friends that loved her. She was a positive influence on them and to this day, when I see them, they speak about how Brittany’s good advice has influenced their lives today,” says Lenore Crawford, Brittany’s mom.

Brittany lived without fear and loved to have fun. It was in that spirit that she went bowling with her friends on April 1, 2012. Unfortunately, while on the way home that night, Brittany suffered fatal injuries in a car accident. She was rushed to the hospital, but was declared brain dead. As her parents began processing what had happened, Lenore remembered that Brittany had told her she wanted to be an organ donor. So they saw that her daughter’s wishes were carried out.

Brittany’s parents soon learned her generous gifts would save the lives of four people. But Brittany’s legacy doesn’t stop there. After losing his daughter, Keith learned that African Americans are more likely to suffer from diseases that lead to organ failure than any other race. So he and Lenore started Give Life, Save Life: The Brittany Crawford Foundation, a nonprofit organization focused on education and awareness of organ donation in the African American Community.

Keith also volunteers his time as a Donate Life Ambassador, talking at various venues, including Bay Area high schools, about the life-saving importance of registering to be an organ, eye and tissue donor. Keith says many people “let fear and ignorance prevent them from making an informed decision about the importance of organ donation.”

“Sharing the story of Brittany and educating others takes some of the grief away, yet at times it is used as a form of therapy,” says Keith. “At the end of the day, organ donation saves lives.”

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