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A Beacon of Hope
A Light of Love

The Lane Thomas Foundation

Play video Giving Light and Hope
a picture of Lane Thomas
Lane Thomas

Meet Lane Thomas

Lane was a beaming, spirited and loving child who always referred to himself by his first and middle names, Lane Thomas. Parents Matt and Melissa and their daughter Ella established The Lane Thomas Foundation as an enduring way to remember the light and hope he brought to the world.


Support Families


EDUCATION: To improve public awareness and understanding for increased organ donation to ultimately save children’s lives.

SUPPORT: To provide financial assistance to support families of children undergoing solid organ transplants, allowing them to focus on their child and keep their family together.

RESEARCH: To support research activities that obviate the need for organ transplantation to save children’s lives.

children are waiting for an organ in the U.S.
children died in 2017 waiting for an organ donation
8 of 50
lives can be saved from a donor

Help Save Lives

Be prepared. Talk with your family about donation and what you would want for yourself and your children in the event of a tragedy.

The greatest needs are:

  • Under the age of 1: liver and heart
  • Age 1-10: kidney, liver, and heart
  • Age 11-17: kidney and liver

Learn about organ donation
Register to be an organ donor

Play video Families Facing Transplants
of heart, lung, and kidney transplants in children are successful
percentage that the number of children who require a transplant grows each year
the number of children who die each year in a fatal accident or by illness

You Are Not Alone

The Lane Thomas Foundation is ready to support your family by covering non-medical expenses during your transplant journey.

Melissa and Matt Graves know what it’s like to go through a very traumatic experience. They want to provide resources, so that you can focus solely on your child and keep your family together.

Currently the Foundation supports families from across the United States coming to Omaha, Nebraska through their partnerships with Nebraska Medicine and Children's Hospital and Medical Center. The Foundation continues to evaluate expanding their partnerships with transplant centers in other parts of the United States.

Play video How the Foundation Can Help

By The Numbers

Did You Know?
  • Young children often need to receive an organ from a donor of similar age/size for many types of transplantation
    • The organs that children tend to need most vary by age:

    • Under the age of 1, most children are waiting for a liver or a heart.
    • Most children ages 1-10 are waiting for a kidney or liver, followed by heart.
    • Most children ages 11-17 are waiting for a kidney, followed by liver.
  • Many of the children on the waiting list need a kidney that can be donated by a living donor. Living kidney donations now exceed deceased donations for pediatric transplantation, and research shows that living donors provide the best results for children undergoing kidney transplantation.
  • More myths and facts about organ donation

Sources: Donate Life America, Organ Procurement and Transplantaion Network

Children playing
The number of children on the national transplant waiting list.
More than 25% of them are under six years old.
The annual increase in the number of young children needing a transplant.
The number of children who die each year waiting for a transplant.
The number of lives that can be saved from a single organ donor.
The number of people whose lives can be improved with tissue from that same donor.
The success rate of pediatric organ transplants.