COLUMBIA CITY (WANE) — Seven years ago this Sunday, Cody Brommer of Columbia City passed away at the age of 21. His family says he had multiple head traumas from playing football. Brommer was an organ donor, and his organs saved seven lives while giving two other people vision through cornea transplants.
This weekend at the Chili Bowl Nationals, South Bend native and NASCAR driver Ryan Newman will honor Brommer on his midget car. Newman is a partner with the Indiana Donor Network‘s Driven 2 Save Lives program, which sponsors his car.
The car’s name plate says “Our Hero Cody Brommer” and has the number 75 on it, which is the number Brommer wore on the football team at Trine University.
Brommer’s parents Randy and Julie, along with his sister Lindsey Beard and her husband will be in Tulsa, Oklahoma for the races and will get to meet Newman.
“He’ll always be our hero. He’s our son. He saved lives, but to know that he was getting recognized on a national level for something a lot of people don’t think about, that we think about every day,” Cody’s mom Julie Brommer said. “I just want to see Cody getting the recognition he’s always deserved for something so many people do anyway, which is be a donor hero.”
The family is proud of the choice Cody made to be an organ donor. The entire experience pushed his sister Lyndsey to a certain career. She now works at the Indiana Donor Network.
“It just brought me to tears to know it’s been almost seven years, to know that he is still remembered. Not just with us, but he is a hero and there’s seven people living today because of what he did,” Beard said.
The Brommers believe people should discuss whether or not they’d like to be an organ donor with their family. They say it’s a difficult thing to talk about, but will give family members clarity on their loved ones’ wishes. The Brommers admit that if Cody hadn’t made the decision himself to be an organ donor, they’re not sure what they would’ve done when approached by doctors.
Knowing what they know now, the family is so thankful for Cody’s decision to be an organ donor and give other people another chance at living.
It just so happens that Julie Brommer is now on the donor list hoping for a new kidney. She was dealing with stage four colon cancer when they lost Cody, but has now been in remission for five years, which clears her to get on the list.
“It is ironic that I’m in a boat that somebody else was in, and I don’t want anybody to go through what we went through by losing somebody, but in the same breath, that’s how I know that’s how I know I can survive and not have to be hooked up to a machine every day to live, and go back to living.”
You can find more information about being an organ donor here.