David Nix

Lifetime President of the DFN

Jane and David Nix live in Birmingham. Jane is a retired nurse; having worked many years in learning disabilities undertaking projects to improve the way services are delivered. David is a retired police officer and now runs his own business moving trucks around the country. Jane and David founded the Donor Family Network in 1997 following the death of their daughter Rebecca who died in a road traffic collision in Connecticut USA at the age of 21 and became a multi-tissue donor. Rebecca had carried a donor card from the age of 7. She was training in hotel management when she decided to take a year out and work in USA. Due to the care and advice they received in USA Jane and David decided to find out more about support for families. After becoming a registered charity in 2003 the Donor Family Network has become the major charity supporting donor families. Jane and David also have a son Stuart who is very proud of his sister. He works as an electrician and fencing manufacturer.

Susan & Nigel Burton

Treasurer (Susan) Chairman (Nigel)

Sue and Nigel live in Grantham in Lincolnshire. Nigel is now the current Chairman and Sue the Treasurer for the Donor Family Network.  Sue and Nigel have a son Christopher, who is married and has two children. Nigel is retired and Sue is a Costs Lawyer in Grantham.  Their youngest son Martin died following a major brain haemorrhage in August 2003 when he was 16. He became a multiple organ donor.  They first came in contact with the Donor Family Network at the National Gathering in 2005 and became Trustees in 2006. They believe that the Trustees make a difference to the lives of those who’s loved ones gave the Gift of Life, by offering support and compassion.

Eunice Booker


Eunice is married to Derek who is also a strong supporter of the Donor Family Network. Sadly they lost their eldest daughter Kirstie in December 2006, and in 2015 Eunice joined the Network as Secretary. Eunice works local to their home in Kent for a family run business as the company accounts manager. Eunice and Derek have another daughter Natalie who is married with two sons. As a family they are immensely proud of what Kirstie has done, both for the recipients and their family and friends.


Jim & Andrea Fallow

(Vice Chairman) Jim (Trustee) Andrea

Jim, Linda, and daughter Andrea became a donor family in 2001 when Iain died aged 18 due to complications following brain surgery.  He became a multiple organ donor and also donated skin and bone for grafting.  For a couple of years after that, they were part of a local support group in the Northwest organised by the transplant co-ordinators and assisted in organising a memorial service at Manchester Cathedral. They attended the opening ceremony of the transplant games in Bolton and also went to the track and field events where they were amazed and inspired by all the competitors. As with so many other Donor Families, they attended that exceptional day at the National Arboretum when the Gift of Life memorial was unveiled.  During conversations with the other Trustees that day, particularly David Nix, Jim and Andrea were invited to become Trustees which they accepted. Andrea is a nurse on the neo natal surgical ward at Alderhey children’s hospital in Liverpool and, as this was one of the hosts for the 2016 games, she was invited (with others) to light the flame of the games which she readily accepted. Jim spent most of his working life in area management in the pub and restaurant industry, mainly in the Northwest and North Wales.

Emma Thirwall


I have worked in organ donation and transplantation for the last 20 years and prior to this, worked in paediatric intensive care. I am currently Team Manager for the North West Organ Donation Service. I first became aware of the fantastic work of the Donor family Network back in 1999, when I was looking for a support network in the Midlands area for one of my donor families. It has been great to see how the Donor Family Network has evolved over time and to witness first-hand how donor families have been supported and encouraged to share their individual experiences with each other and with a wider audience. In my spare time I like to keep fit and healthy and also work as a nurse volunteer, supporting children who have had transplants, when they take part in organised activity camps. I have a daughter Miriam and two cats, Kevin and Winnie.

Audrey Wheeler


Audrey lives in Birmingham and sadly became a member of the DFN following the death of her husband Ian in January 2003. Ian passed away during surgery for a Brain Aneurysm leaving Audrey as a single parent to their daughter Sophie who was only 1 at the time. Ian became a multiple organ donor and gave the gift of life to a least 4 people. Audrey's mum found details of the DFN and Audrey and her parents attended the Annual Memorial Service at St Margaret's Church in Great Barr, which was a poignant moment in time as Audrey and Ian were married there.Audrey continued to work as an office administrator and also became a florist, specialising in floral tributes. Audrey found comfort in helping bereaved families and Sophie has now become involved in the DFN by taking part in interviews at the opening of the National Gift of Life Memorial in 2006.Both Audrey and Sophie take great pride in knowing Ian saved lives of others and Audrey has now joined us as a Trustee to help with awareness and support for families.

Karen Piotr


I’m Karen a donor wife of Mark, who passed away suddenly May 2017 from a spontaneous brain bleed . I’m a keen walker especially in Lakes or Yorkshire Dales and especially with my black Labrador Isla. Mark and I had done 100 of 214 Wainwright walks and I’ve vowed to continue and finish these off in his memory. I still watch Neighbours and have done since it started in 1985. I love awards season and every year I stay up all night to watch the full Oscars ceremony. I had no hesitation in honouring Marks wishes to be an Organ Donor and he successfully went on to save the lives of nine people - something that still amazes me today. I’ve been lucky to not only have had 2 letters from recipients of Marks organs, but to actually meet one of them too - Pete who has his liver, a day that I will never forget. I’m proud every day of what Mark did for all those people, so that they can have a second chance of life. He is as a selfless man in life and now in death

Gill Ferguson


I am Gill & live in Leamington Spa,  Warwickshire. I am the mother of three boys Matthew, Cameron and Scott.In April 2008 2 weeks before Matthew’s eighteenth birthday he was involved in a car accident & died a few days later. Matthew subsequently donated multiple organs.I have been a member of the DFN since September 2008 & attended various events over the years including the unveiling of the Gift of Life Memorial at the National Arboretum.At one of the annual memorial services by chance I met a recipient family whose daughter received Matt’s liver. From the tragedy of losing Matt I was immensely proud that he was able to give life to others after his had ended. I am also  grateful to have a very special relationship with this family.