Slain Mesa County sheriff’s deputy Derek Geer was a hero in life and in death.
What a poised and beautiful message Kate Geer shared with The Denver Post this month as she mourns the loss of her husband, Mesa County sheriff ’s Deputy Derek Geer, and urges others to become organ donors.
“Obviously, we’re still grieving. We will always grieve. But knowing that losing his life wasn’t in vain, knowing that four families are still celebrating their loved ones, it gives me comfort,” Kate Geer told Denver Post reporter Jesse Paul. We are moved by her words. Derek Geer is a hero. The Navy veteran served to protect the people of Mesa County and died in the line of duty when a suspect shot him in February. Geer was trying to stop a 17-year-old wanted for violation of his probation for a sex-offender charge when the teen ran. Authorities say Geer attempted to use his stun gun to stop the man from fleeing but was instead shot and killed.
Geer deserves our respect and honor for his service.
He became a hero a second time by donating his organs. Four individuals now benefit from Geer’s posthumous gift. His heart, liver and kidneys all went to others in need.
For those equally moved by this story, one way to honor Kate and Derek Geer is to become an organ and tissue donor.
Donor Alliance, the designated non-profit that handles organ and tissue donations in Colorado and Wyoming, estimates 67 percent of Coloradans are already signed up as donors.
Visit DonateLifeColorado.org to register to be an organ donor in Colorado or call 303-329-4747 or 888-256-4386. The Donor Alliance is the state-designated affiliate for organ donation registry.
Those wanting to go a step further this holiday season can sign up to become a living bone marrow donor. The odds of being a close enough genetic match to someone to become a donor are slim but still significant. A simple swab of your cheek puts you on a registry that could possibly make you a life-saving donor for someone in need. Visit bethematch.org to find out how you can join the National Marrow Donor Program.
If that’s going too far, consider donating blood or plasma on a regular basis through the group of your choosing. There are many wonderful organizations that collect blood donations, but Bonfils Blood Center is one of Colorado’s largest non-profit donor banks. Children’s Hospital Colorado also has a blood donor bank — at its main facility on the Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora and a mobile donor unit that travels throughout the community.
There are so many stories of tragedy and heartbreak.
So often there is nothing we can do to help.
But Kate and Derek Geer have reminded us that for a sick person in need there is something we can do, today, that may help.
Pallbearers carry the casket of Mesa County sheriff ’s Deputy Derek Geer on Feb. 15 at Canyon View Vineyard Church in Grand Junction.
Geer saved the lives of four people when his heart, liver and kidneys were donated. Mesa County Sheriff’s Office