Lions_Eye_Flipping_Book - page 3

Lions Eye Institute Newsletter |3
M
ichael-Gene Robert Futch
was a fun-loving, family-
centered 19-year old. Having very open
minded & supportive parents, he was
able to enjoy a wide variety of activities.
He grew up loving many sports like
paint balling, zip lining, wakeboarding
andfishing. But none of these compared
to his passion for Tae Kwon Do and
the game of basketball. Tae Kwon Do
taught Michael themeaning of passion
at the ripe age of 4 years old. From
traditional, toweaponry, to his ultimate
favorite: sparring, he enjoyed it all. He
continued sparring until the age of 17.
In his Tae KwonDo career, he attended
many national competitions and placed
at two Jr. Olympic tournaments. Even
more than Tae Kwon Do, Michael
discovered an unwavering love for
basketball. He was consumed by it;
He ate, slept and breathed it. Not only
didMichael play on his middle & high
school basketball teams, but he also
coached those school’s b-ball leagues
every summer. He also played for
the Police Athletic Leagues (PAL) in
2 cities. Michael’s other passion was
people. Whether he was talking to his
family, friends or even to strangers,
he had a smile that warmed people’s
hearts and made them feel instantly
comfortable. Because of this passion,
Michael knew from the time he got his
license that he wanted to be an organ
donor. He never thought twice about
the chance to help others. It wasn’t until
the night of November 20, 2010, that
his family would truly understand just
how much Michael’s decision would
help others. This was the night that
his family was informed that he had
been in a bad car accident that would
ultimately end his life. Learning this
information, Michael’s family made
the unanimous decision to obey his
wishes and granted the hospital full
access to his body. In giving this last
gift, he was able to save over a half-
dozen people, and aided the help &
recovery of countless others. Because
Michael was so full of life with every
step he took, his family decided to
honor him by starting a non-profit
organization: The Michael-Gene
Kids Basketball Foundation. This
organization started by providing
meals, gifts, and sponsoring basketball
leagues for underprivileged kids in his
hometown, Melbourne, FL. With an
immeasurable amount of support,
and great success in its first two
years, the foundation has expanded to
surrounding towns, includingOrlando.
Michael’s family also keeps his spirits
alive by maintaining regular contact
with all of his major organ recipients.
Knowing how family oriented he was,
his family and recipients pay his gift
forward by accepting one another with
open arms and have cherished every
moment of it.
The Futch family who tragically lost their son, Michael, in 2010. Michael was an organ,
tissue and cornea donor at the age of 19. They've met several of Michael’s organ recipients
and keep in contact with them. They now speak on behalf of donation regularly and recently
traveled to Pasadena to ride on the Donate Life Rose Parade float, which honoredMichael
with his picture. They are amazing people and are determined to honor Michael’s legacy
by supporting the mission of organ donation as a donor family.
Foundation
Focus
Donor Family
Spotlight
Michael-Gene’s Story
1,2 4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12
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