Longtime area resident Maureen Budjinski was honored on Friday, May 17 as one of five Outreach Wellness Prevention Heroes at the annual Heroes of Medicine awards sponsored by the Palm Beach County Medical Society.
Budjinski is a volunteer representative with the UM Life Alliance Organ Recovery Agency. Since 1974, she has devoted thousands of hours promoting the cause of organ donation, ever since her sister Jeanne died in 1970 from chronic kidney disease. More recently, her son Jason died in 2015 after never receiving a liver transplant.
Budjinski noted that education is vitally important to the cause of organ donation, since approximately 95 percent of the population is in favor of organ donation, but only 48 percent are organ donors. Her efforts have included lobbying for inclusion of an organ donation option as part of the driver’s license process in Florida; speaking to service organizations, high schools and colleges; speaking at events at fairs, hospitals and driver’s license bureaus to raise awareness and funds; educating driver’s license personnel; and assisting those who have lost a loved one.