Donate Life: A Legacy of Love
A young woman continues helping others through the gift of organ donation.
Cinnamon Smith is described as vibrant, bold, loving and caring by her family members. She enjoyed being outdoors, caring for animals and fishing. Cinnamon was especially enamored by sunflowers. “She always had a smile on her face and knew how to make others feel better,” said James Diamond, Cinnamon’s brother.
Most of all, she enjoyed helping others. She continued this even in death. In April 2021, Cinnamon died at the young age of 30. As a registered organ donor, however, her story didn’t end. Cinnamon was able to donate her liver, both kidneys and her heart to three recipients. Her gifts of life to others occurred during April, the month designated as National Donate Life, a time dedicated to honoring organ and tissue donors.
Caring for others
Cinnamon’s decision to become a donor showed that her spirit of giving to others was present in everything she did. She had a love for the medical field early on and participated in Doctors Without Borders, helping with corrective leg surgery for young children in the Dominican Republic.
Though her family greatly misses her, they are comforted in knowing she was able to help provide a second chance to someone else gives them hope.
“If she could help someone better their life, or help them live, that’s what she always wanted to do, even now that she’s gone,” said Taylor Diamond, Cinnamon’s mom. “She believed in giving life.”
Despite Cinnamon’s physical absence, her legacy of love and kindness continues through the donation of life she has given to others. Though the recipients never met his sister, James believes her gracious spirit is with them.
Quoting a poem written to honor her daughter, Taylor finds peace in Cinnamon’s generous gift. “Our baby girl will live on through this gift. May the light she gave us find its way to give life and hope to others.”
Saving a life
Cinnamon’s organ donation helped saved the lives of others. One organ recipient wrote a thank-you letter letting Cinnamon’s family know how grateful they are:
“Through the gift of organ donation, I will have the chance to be there for my wife, children and my wonderful grandson. My family and I can’t thank your family enough for this precious gift.”
Cinnamon’s legacy will continue to live on through those who received her organs and were given a second chance at life. Her family encourages others to become organ donors as a simple way to give back and help others.
“It doesn’t cost anything extra to become an organ donor,” James said. “It helps extend someone’s life and hopefully gives them new joy and a fresh perspective.”
Becoming an organ donor
Becoming an organ donor only takes a few minutes when you sign up online at DonateLifeFlorida.org. One organ donor can provide organs for up to eight people.
According to LifeQuest Organ Recovery Services, 242 donors provided 566 people with the gift of life last year through UF Health Jacksonville, UF Health Shands Hospital and other hospitals across northern Florida. In 2022, LifeQuest provided organs to 65 transplant centers.
Donate Life America notes that every nine minutes, someone is added to the national transplant waiting list, which already includes more than 100,000 people waiting for lifesaving organ transplants. The demand for organ, eye and tissue donations continues to exceed the number of donors.
For more information on registering to become an organ donor in Florida, please visit LifeQuestFla.org.