In 1994, Italy had the lowest organ donation rates in Europe. That same year, seven year-old Nicholas Green from California was killed by highway robbers while vacationing in Italy with his family.
His parents’ unselfish decision to donate his organs and corneas to seven Italians awaiting transplants shocked the Italian public. Widely reported across the globe, the world took the story to heart and the face of organ donation was changed forever. In the months and years following Nicholas’ death, organ donations tripled in Italy. It is not an exaggeration to say that thousands who might have died are alive today because one small boy changed the thinking of millions of people.
Throughout September, dedications of parks, sculptures and gardens in memory of Nicholas are planned from Pisa to Sicily, adding to the nearly 100 parks, schools, streets, and playgrounds across Italy that already bear his name. From now until the 20th anniversary of Nicholas’s death (and his gifts of life) on October 1st, we invite you to follow us on social media, as we follow his father Reg Green on his tour back through Italy to commemorate #TheNicholasEffect.