Ricardo Walker

Ricardo Walker was a young man who knew what the word family really means.

From a young age, he prioritized family. He believed that if a member of his family faltered, needed help, if there was a gap he could fill, or a way he could step up for family: he would. He always would. Family was the core of Ricardo’s life, and his family was what he placed above all else. He told his mother: “We are all we have. Family is everything.”

Not every teenager sees life so clearly. Ricardo was different.

Ricardo was a young man, 23 years old, and the proud new father of a baby girl named Dazisya. He was strong and smart. He was the best free babysitter his family could have asked for, ready with smiles and plans for fun. He was the person who worked the grill at every family barbeque, making sure everyone got their burger, and a laugh, too.

Then, the call. The call his mother, Pam Wright, can’t forget. The call that told her Ricardo was gone, murdered, a promising life cut short so soon. Too soon.

In her shattering grief, Pam told the hospital: “My son is a registered donor. Can he help someone?”

And Ricardo did. A young man who always stepped up, who always filled the gap, who always met the need, who said “Family is everything”—that young man gave gifts to many other families in dire need of help for someone they loved.

Ricardo left his cherished family behind. But, for his recipients, Ricardo ensured years of healthy life, and years of joy for their families. He stepped up, he filled the gap, he met the need—in a final act of compassion for families beyond his own.