The Mercury News

Procession honors Jen Angel's donor spirit

- By George Kelly gkelly@ bayareanew­ Contact George Kelly at 408-859-5180.

OAKLAND >> In the hallway of a hospital, medical staff and police officers lined the walls and quietly marked a community member's last life-giving gifts with silence and salutes.

A small group of family members and friends of the writer, activist, company founder and Angel Cakes bakery owner Jen Angel were present Monday night at a procession, known as an “honor walk,” from her hospital room to an operation room, before donation of her organs, giving second chances at life for up to 70 recipients.

In the wake of a violent, midday robbery outside an Uptown Oakland bank branch that left her hospitaliz­ed in critical condition and led to her life's end last week, community members have rallied around Angel's memory by sharing stories and support for community institutio­ns.

In a statement Tuesday evening, advocates calling themselves “Loved Ones of Jen Angel” noted that Valentine's Day was also National Donor Day, meant to celebrate the importance of similarly directed life-saving donations, and urged others to learn more at the United Network for Organ Sharing.

“It is appropriat­e that someone gets Jen's heart today, on Valentine's Day,” Angel's mother, Pat Engel, a retired nurse, said of her daughter's decision to help others.

“The Honor Walk was so moving. To see the hospital staff and even police officers there saluting her. It meant so much. These tributes reflect how much value the medical staff place on organ donation.

Registerin­g as an organ donor is so important and something everyone can do to help make a difference in the world.”

A GoFundMe fundraisin­g campaign set up last week to raise money for medical care, family travel and support costs, as well as for the bakery, had raised $151,384 as of Tuesday evening, nearing a $200,000 goal. This campaign was online at https://www.gofundme. com/f/love-and-supportfor-jen-angel.

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