Teen's legacy for hospital where he died: $76,000

Published January 27, 2007

JACKSONVILLE - A.J. Donahue spent the final two years of his life at Wolfson Children's Hospital. Now the young bone cancer patient's fundraising efforts will benefit parents, patients and nursing students.

Before he died in the fall at age 18, A.J. of Brunswick, Ga., saw several areas where he wanted to make changes at the hospital, the Florida Times-Union reported. So he began a fundraising campaign on his Web site.

Recently, Bill and Terrilyn Donahue, his parents, talked with Wolfson administrator Larry Freeman about how to spend the teen's $76,000 legacy.

A.J.'s highest priority was buying reclining chairs for parents who end up spending long hours in the rooms. But Freeman had already pledged to pay for the recliners out of his budget.

Some of the money raised by the teen will be used for CD players, DVD players and portable video game systems for patient rooms, but the bulk of the money will probably go to nursing scholarships, Bill Donahue said.

A.J. was a 16-year-old student at Brunwick's Glynn Academy in October 2004 when he was diagnosed with bone cancer.

Last year, he launched a fundraising campaign on his Web site. For a $2 donation, A.J. would send a sticker with his logo. It was designed by his flight instructor and was a drawing of a biplane being piloted by A.J.

In six weeks, he reached his $50,000 goal and died two days later on Sept. 23. But the donations still keep pouring in.