Delany Van Wert was a curious girl whose favorite subject in school was English. She wrote many poems, including "Glimmering Star," with the prophetic last line: "I would be everlasting like a candle never blown out." When she was 12, she asked her father about the red heart on his driver's license. He explained that it signified his choice to be a registered organ donor. She decided that she would do the same. The following year, Delany died from a brain aneurysm, and saved five people's lives through the donation of her heart, two kidneys, liver, and both lungs, as well as her corneas and other tissue.
Delany Van Wert was a curious girl who loved academics as well as the social aspects of school. English was always her favorite subject. She wrote many poems, none better than "Glimmering Star," which was published in her school's 2008 annual literary magazine.
The opening line of her poem reads: "I wish I were a star glimmering in the sky." Delany was inspired to write it while lying in her dark bedroom with dozens of glow-in-the-dark stars adorning her ceiling. Her poem has touched many. Her family and friends take comfort in the night sky and think of Delany when they read the last line: "I would be everlasting like a candle never blown out."
When Delany was 12 years old, she saw the red heart on her father's driver's license and became curious. He explained that it was a symbol that he had registered to be an organ donor. Even though her driver's license was four years away, that day she decided she would also get that red heart. She never got that chance; Delany died at age 13 on May 7, 2010, from a brain aneurysm.
Her family remembered her wish to be donor, a decision that saved five people's lives through the donation of her heart, two kidneys, liver, and both lungs, as well as her corneas and other tissue. In the past two years, Delany has already helped 26 people through tissue donation.
Delany had a vast collection of toy pigs that earned her the nickname "Oink." She was also fascinated with the fact that her grandmother had had a heart valve replacement using a pig valve.
As a tribute to Delany, the family's car has personalized OINK license plates and has a flying pig toy on a string that flies in circles hanging from the ceiling. "It reminds us about the meaning of her name, Delany, which is 'angel from heaven,'" said her father Tom. At their home, her family proudly flies a Donation and Transplantation flag alongside their American flag.