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updated: 4/27/2014 5:14 PM

Tree planted in Naperville to honor organ donors

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  • Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White speaks during the 24th annual tree-planting ceremony Sunday to honor organ and tissue donors and their families at the Naper Settlement in Naperville.

       Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White speaks during the 24th annual tree-planting ceremony Sunday to honor organ and tissue donors and their families at the Naper Settlement in Naperville.
    Mark Black | Staff Photographer

  • Matt and Jill Zuleg are brought to tears as they speak about their son, Kyle, who died in a freak accident while camping, during the 24th annual tree-planting ceremony Sunday to honor organ and tissue donors and their families at the Naper Settlement in Naperville. Kyle's donated organs helped save at least five other lives.

       Matt and Jill Zuleg are brought to tears as they speak about their son, Kyle, who died in a freak accident while camping, during the 24th annual tree-planting ceremony Sunday to honor organ and tissue donors and their families at the Naper Settlement in Naperville. Kyle's donated organs helped save at least five other lives.
    Mark Black | Staff Photographer

  • People whose lives have been touched through organ donation gathered Sunday at the Naper Settlement in Naperville for a ceremony honoring organ and tissue donors and their families.

       People whose lives have been touched through organ donation gathered Sunday at the Naper Settlement in Naperville for a ceremony honoring organ and tissue donors and their families.
    Mark Black | Staff Photographer

  • Jill and Matt Zuleg, Naperville Mayor George Pradel, Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White and Organ Transplant Support President Pete Cashman ceremonially plant a tree during the 24th annual tree-planting dedication to honor organ and tissue donors and their families at the Naper Settlement in Naperville.

       Jill and Matt Zuleg, Naperville Mayor George Pradel, Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White and Organ Transplant Support President Pete Cashman ceremonially plant a tree during the 24th annual tree-planting dedication to honor organ and tissue donors and their families at the Naper Settlement in Naperville.
    Mark Black | Staff Photographer

 
 

Suburban residents whose lives have been touched through organ donations attended the 24th annual tree planting dedication at the Naper Settlement in Naperville on Sunday to honor organ and tissue donors and their families.

Among them were Jill and Matt Zuleg of Naperville, who launched the Kyle Zuleg Foundation to encourage organ donation after their 16-year-old son, Kyle, was fatally injured in a 2010 camping accident. The Zulegs made the hard decision to let Kyle go and to donate his organs, so that someone else might live. The decision helped to save five other lives.

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"As much as we wanted to keep Kyle with us he was clearly wanted and needed somewhere else," Jill Zuleg said.

Joining them Sunday was Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White, who's led numerous efforts to encourage people to sign up as potential donors and shared with the crowd his personal story of organ donation involving his sister.

This year Organ Transplant Support planted an Apple Serviceberry not far from the chapel on north end of the Naper Settlement property.

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