Stories of Hope: Michael Robles

Michael-Robles_Donate-Life-California-e1444874709645Michael Robles was a family man known for his yard work, the flower arrangements he bought at the local flower shop (the florists knew him by name), and for being one of the first in the small town of Delano to own a Harley Davidson Motorcycle. When his granddaughter was born, he took on a fatherly role – doting on her, making sure she was cared for and her needs were met. His passing of a sudden heart attack at the age of 53 left a void in his close, loving family. But, despite their grief, they didn’t hesitate to say “YES!” when asked about organ donation. Michael’s wife, Linda, turned to his brother and sister to help her decide, and they all knew what his answer would be. “Mike would definitely do this,” they said.

“I’ve always been so proud of Mike – proud to be his sister. And he would be proud of us for making the decision allowing him to be a donor,” said Sandra Gutierrez, who recently retired from the California Department of Motor Vehicles. “Our town is largely Hispanic and, while working at the DMV, I encountered many people who were hesitant to sign up to be organ donors. I told them my brother helped others to keep living.”

Today, Michael’s family smiles, remembering his unconditional love and his laughter. Sandra says, “I have a Birds of Paradise plant in my yard that reminds me of him. Like a colorful bird, his spirit soars over us and his liver and kidney recipients.”

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