Waukee student’s death gives almost 200 people a second chance at life

Positive News

WAUKEE — 2019 is the fourth year that Dan and Wanda Lienemann have spent without their son, Drew.

“You have tougher days than others, and it’s on those days when I try to focus on the good that’s happened,” Dan told Local 5’s Matthew Judy.

Thursday was one of those days.

Drew was known for doing it all- he was a black belt in taekwondo, competitive in track and baseball, and even a captain of the Waukee High School football team.

“He was very funny, very soft-hearted and very committed. Whatever he was going to do it was going to be 110 percent,” Wanda said.

During his senior year of high school, Drew died of suicide. He was 18-years-old.

However, his death wasn’t the final chapter in his book, merely just the start of a second part.

His parents didn’t know it, but Drew was an organ donor. A little over three years since his death, he lives on in almost 200 people around the world.

“What I think is amazing is to think of those 190 people around the world who either are alive or their lives have been improved, and they’re enjoying a special holiday themselves,” Dan said.

“We’d rather have him back but, yeah. It’s a nice legacy for him to have left behind,” said Wanda.

Thanks to Drew, those people who received his organs are able to live on. For more information on organ donation and how to be an organ donor, visit iowadonornetwork.org.

©TEGNA Inc. 2019. All Rights Reserved.