Unyts is paying tribute to our heroes of organ, eye and tissue donation. It seemed fitting to call this endeavor “Honoring our Heroes”. We know that for the families of these donors, they really are heroes, and we certainly feel the same way.
We are truly honored to share these very touching personal stories each month. If you would like to honor a hero, please read below.
For the month of April, we honor…
-written by Eric’s Mom, Vicki
Eric Michael Fontaine was born on June 4, 1991. He was my only child and I miss him with all my heart. He became an angel on May 17, 2013. He was just 21 years old. He was in a motorcycle accident and died instantly.
Everyone that knew Eric loved him. He was such a fun loving, easy going young man. He always made everyone laugh and he had such an infectious laugh.
Eric loved cars. This started at a young age. Whenever his grandmother or I took him to the store, he went right to the hot wheels section and came back with several cars and of course we would buy them. As he got older, he would buy hot wheels, keep them in the package and display them on his bedroom walls. I also would find him in the magagzine section and he would be reading some car magazine. He knew a lot about cars and he learned about them on his own. Eric had a 2004 Volkswagen GTI and he loved that car. It was his baby. Eric also had a love for Michael Jordan sneakers. He was Eric’s favorite basketball player and he had at least 15 pairs of Jordan sneakers. He used to make me laugh because if it was raining out he would not wear them and if someone stepped on them, look out!!! He was also a Miami Heat and Detroit Red Wings fan. Eric’s two favorite dog breeds were german shepards and pit bulls. He had a pit bull named Paul. Paul was his buddy.
Eric joined the Air Force Reserves in June 2011 and left for basic training in April of 2012. He was in San Antonio, Texas at Lackland Air Force Base. He graduated on June 22, 2012, was an honor grad and his flight made honor flight. I was so proud of him! I went to see him graduate and I was in awe of him. He then went to Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls, Texas for tech school. He came back home on Thanksgiving Day of 2012. That was the best Thanksgiving ever. He was a part of the 914th civil engineer squad at the Niagara Falls Air Force Base.
Eric chose to be an organ donor when he got his license at 17. He was unable to donate his organs but he was able to donate his tissue. I received two letters from recipients that received his tissue. It makes me proud that Eric was able to give someone a better quality of life, but at the same time it makes me sad because Eric isn’t here.
This past September, my family, friends and I participated in the Unyts Donate Life Walk in honor of Eric. On Eric’s 1st angelversary, May 17th, I’m going to hold a memorial blood drive at the Unyts Community Blood Center at Southgate Plaza. I will honor Eric and his memory until the day we meet again.
I miss you and love you so much Eric and I’m so proud that you are my son. Rest in peace xoxox
Do you know someone who has been touched by organ, eye or tissue donation? We want to honor them. If you would like to nominate a loved one who gave the gift of life, please click here. Unyts will contact you when your loved one is chosen for the Hero of the Month.