Newsmakers 2015: Rhonda Robert

Southeast Missourian | By Robyn Gautschy ~ Business Today

Rhonda Robert (Glenn Landberg)

As a nurse, Rhonda Robert is a big proponent of organ donation, so it seemed natural to have a conversation with her son about organ donation.

She didn't know at the time, though, that her 15-year-old son would lose his own life just a few months later. Kaden Robert, a student-athlete at Kelly High School in Benton, Missouri, died June 24, 2014, when a handgun accidentally discharged in the school parking lot after a basketball game with friends.

Even as she grieved the loss of her child, she followed through with plans to donate Kaden's organs, as he had wanted to do. He saved five lives with the donation of his organs, and Robert has received letters from three of the recipients.

Robert has since worked to raise organ donor awareness in Southeast Missouri. In April -- National Donate Life Month -- she organized a "Green Up" baseball challenge to raise money for a scholarship in memory of Kaden, as well as awareness for Mid-America Transplant Services in St. Louis. She also gave organ donor awareness a presence at Benton Neighbor Days and the SEMO District Fair, and has had T-shirts and green ribbons made to further boost awareness. Continue reading