AceShowbiz - Katherine Heigl had a special message for her fans. When honoring her late brother Jason on his 35th death anniversary, the "Grey's Anatomy" alum suggested fans be organ donors like her sibling.
On Thursday, September 30, the actress shared an old picture of Jason. "This is my brother Jason. He was about 12 or 13 in this picture. Jason was in a car accident September 23rd 1986 and was in the ICU on life support for a week. He was taken off life support 35 years ago today. One week before his 16th birthday," she first explained.
"I don't often talk about him. Or this day. Or the weeks and months and years that followed but my mother wrote an email to a friend this morning that she shared with me and I thought... well that I'd like to share her words because what she has to say is important," she added. "Not only for my family but for anyone out there who has lost someone they love too soon."
Katherine then quoted her mother Nancy by writing, "Actually, today is the day that he died in 1986. All day today, various helicopters flew into Norwalk Hospital in CT, bringing surgeons from other hospitals and early this evening they took him into surgery and removed his organs for donations." She added, "Sorry, just on my mind today and probably sharing too much."
The wife of Josh Kelley went on to note that her parents "made the decision they knew their son would have wanted made on his behalf." She further detailed, "They donated his eyes. His heart. His lungs. They donated what they could because they not only knew it was what Jason would have wanted but because they did not want anyone else to suffer what they now would have to if they could prevent it."
"My mother always says it was not the easy thing to do but it was the right thing to do. Today. On the anniversary of Jason’s death. I implore us all to do not the easy thing but the right thing and become an organ donor. Death is inevitable. Tragedies happen. But none of us are in this alone," she concluded her message. "At least that's what Jason taught me. #donatelife."
In the wake of Jason's death, Katherine and her mother Nancy founded the Jason Debus Heigl Foundation in 2008. It's a non-profit organization dedicated to animal welfare.