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7 years after her death, Denver officer still saving lives

DENVER – A Denver police officer is still giving back to the community, seven years after she was shot and killed in the line of duty.

For the first time, Officer Celena Hollis’ parents revealed she was an organ donor after her death in 2012.

Hollis’ parents spoke during Denver Police Museum’s unveiling of the 160th anniversary commemorative badge.

Vincent Hollis said, “She was an organ donor, so she is still here helping people.” Her mother, Dorothy said, “She loved her job. She was a giver.”

Hollis was killed at the City Park Jazz Festival in 2012. Her parents say they originally didn't want to know what happened with her donations.

She said, “Someone had wrote in, it was so profound, they wanted to know if we wanted to read it.” The letter moved the Hollis family.

Dorothy said, “They sent it to us. It was a blessing to know not only in memory, but she is still out there helping from her donations. There are people walking around. It`s a blessing to know my child is still helping and still out there.”

Hollis’ family believes they can help others too, by sharing her story.

According to Donor Alliance and Donate Life Colorado, every 10 minutes, someone is added to the national organ transplant waiting list.

1,989 people in our community are currently waiting for a life-saving transplant. But organ donations are on the rise, up 27 percent from a decade ago.

Brianna DePilato, communications coordinator for Donor Alliance said, “It's amazing really the gift of life. one person has the ability to save up to 8 lives through organ donation and heal and save 75 lives through tissue donations. We had a record for organ donation last year. 160 organ donors saved 489 lives in our area. And while that is amazing, we can always use people signing up to become organ donors.”

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