OREGON, Wis. (WMTV) – In January, Abbey Conner, a college student at UW-Whitewater passed away after a brain injury during a pool accident in Mexico.
"At the mass in Pewaukee, they had to put chairs out. It's a big church and they had to put chairs out for the amount of people who showed up," said Abbey's Father Bill Conner.
It has been three months since Conner’s 20-year-old daughter passed away.
"She was always smiling, she cared about people. She was a pistol," said Conner.
During a family vacation to Cancun their lives were forever changed.
"My kids were at this hotel for less than two hours. The last thing my son remembers is having a drink in the pool," said Conner. "The next thing my son remembers is they woke up in the hospital. Somebody got to them… This was at 5:30 in the afternoon, daylight, exclusive hotel and you just don't think it'll happen to you."
Now, to help heal, he's preparing for Abbey's Ride For Life biking from Madison, Wisconsin to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida to share about the importance of organ donation.
"I’m riding to the hospital that took care of my daughter. I'm riding to the hospital that harvested Abbey's organs," said Conner.
Abbey's heart, liver, pancreas, kidneys, eyes and tissues went to four recipients.
"If they weren't able to use her organs, it would have felt like her life was wasted to die like that," said Conner.
For more than 2 thousand miles, Conner has a driving force behind every push of the pedal.
"Organ donation and carrying Abbey's name forward, that's what she'd want me to do," said Conner.
Bill will begin his journey on May 22nd. That is the day after Abbey's brother, Austin, graduates from UW-Milwaukee.
April is also National Donate Life Month.
A GoFundMe page has been set up with more information on how you can donate to Abbey’s Ride For Life.
Copyright 2017: WMTV