Marine Lance Cpl. Libardo Anthony Jimenez, 21, had too short a life yet a wisdom and generosity beyond his years. His liver, heart, pancreas, kidneys and corneas are now dramatically improving the lives of six individuals, but his true gift may be the message he sent about organ donation.

Jimenez, of Bellmore, was a member of the All-Marine Boxing team at Camp Lejeune, N.C. He died on March 23, three days after collapsing during a workout. The military is investigating his death, which could help determine whether he received the proper medical treatment for a head injury suffered during a match five weeks earlier. Such a mistake would make his untimely death all the more unfair but still a reminder of life's uncertainty.

Jimenez, who returned from Iraq this fall, signed up as an organ donor in February while getting a driver's license, the most common way to register. He wanted to give others a chance. His mom first tried to make the donations directly, using Facebook to find family and friends in need. Directed donations, however, are very uncommon - with only 100 or so completed annually - because of the difficulties in making matches and the limited amount of time for a transplant.

So it was strangers, including Frederick W. Strisko of Flushing, who received Jimenez's gifts. Strisko got a liver to replace his diseased one. April is National Donate Life Month, but this Marine's story and Strisko's smiling, thumbs-up photo are all the motivation you should need to join the registry.hN

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