Chip Atkin

Chip Atkin’s only child, Trey, became an organ donor after he died in a freak accident as he was running at a birthday party two years ago. A gust of wind felled a huge tree limb that killed the 11-year-old boy.

“Trey, our only child, was the light of our lives,” says Chip, of Petaluma. “When he was born we hoped he would grow up to be a kind person who would contribute to making the world a better place. In eleven years together, Trey totally exceeded our expectations. We are so very grateful he was in our lives and we sorely miss him. It is our consolation that, if we had to lose him, he was able to save lives by his organ donation.”

Just before Trey died, he and his dad had been training to climb the tallest peak in the continental United States to honor the 25th anniversary of family friends.

“When Trey died,” says Chip. “I vowed to make the trip for the both of us. As I stood at the summit of Mount Whitney, I said to myself, ‘Trey, we made it!’ Of course, I found myself crying silently. Then, with my friends, we unfurled a banner that said: ‘For Trey Atkin, Organ Donors and their Families – for Organ Recipients, Mount Whitney Ascent.’ I am so proud of Trey – he continues to make this world a better place with his gifts of kindness and life.”