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Waterloo man donates organs and tissues to save dozens of lives

OMAHA, Nebraska (Nebraska) — February 14 isn’t just Valentine’s Day; it also marks National Organ Donor Day. It is dedicated to spreading awareness and education about organ, eye and tissue donation.

Waterloo resident Tim Petersen was a family man. His daughters remember him best for his cooking, musical ability, and sense of humor.

“Oh [man,] they were top-notch dad jokes,” says his daughter Cerea Crandall.

The Navy veteran owned his own Cajun-style food truck and loved to cook new things.

“Just being such a really cool grandpa, hanging out and wanting everyone to sleep in and have dinner on Sundays,” says his daughter Tanya Limbach.

In November 2021, the unexpected happened. Tim died in a car accident at the age of 52.

“It’s a terrible feeling when you lose someone so suddenly, compared to when you know that he is sick, and his time is approaching, and you can prepare so much, compared to the fact that you just left.” says Crandall.

But after his death, his family learned that he was a registered organ donor.

“It was a happy cry, as strange as it may sound to some people. It was a happy cry because we knew he was alive in some way,” says Crandall.

His influence was widespread. His donations have helped 74 people in 27 different states.

“As I always say, there are 74 silver linings going around because of his donation. Thanks to him, I became a donor,” says Crandall.

Through Rally for Life 5K, they were able to connect with other donor families.

Now they are encouraging others to make the same choice as Tim.

“Tick the box, it’s very simple and helps other people move on,” says Limbach.

Anyone 16 years of age or older can register as an organ and tissue donor.

Donor registration is available online at Live on Nebraska.

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