Christopher A. Leadingham

A tribute from: Amanda Leadingham, Donor Sister

The Brother who Gave Everything to Help One

I once knew this boy who was a kind and generous person, who would do anything just to help another. His name was Christopher Leadingham.

He just got his license, only 16 years old. He was just driving his brother’s girlfrend home, when all of a sudden his car started to shake and swerve all over the road. He tried to keep control, but when he went to do so it was too late. He was in a car with his brother Michael and his girlfriend Holly. They were only going 80, and they hit the side of a bridge at about 6:44 pm. They smashed into the bridge with a hard and terrifying hit.

The ambulances arrived around 7:01 pm. By the time they got there Michael (his brother) was already dead. Holly was in critical condition and had to be airlifted to the Peoria Hospital. Christopher was raced to the hospital. There he lay dying. After he passed, he had his eyes donated to a little girl. This little girl can now see because of my brother’s courage and thoughtfulness.

I loved both of my brothers and I want to let them know that I still love them.


Christopher& Michael Leadingham

A Tribute From:

Jackie Melvin, Donor Mom


Why? Why did God take my two babies? That is what I asked myself on the night of July 21st, 2003. As I was on my way to the hospital I asked God to help me have the strength to carry on. I had to make the decision of donation.

Christopher had signed the back of his license just a month earlier. He had made the decision to donate but, because he was only 16, I still had the final approval. It was very hard answering the questions for donation at the hospital that night. I really did not want to be doing that at that time. But I did because that is what he wanted. I now know that I made the right decision. A few months after the accident I received a letter from the eye bank. They let me know that thanks to Christopher’s donations, a girl in Hazelcrest, IL could now see due to a cornea transplant. They were unable to use Michael’s eyes. But at least I know something good happened from this great tragedy. If someone out there can live on or see again due to my boys I guess in some way my boys still live on. I would consider it a great joy to be able to look into my son’s eyes again.



Christopher & Michael Leadingham

A Tribute From:

a friend of the donors

A Dear Friend (In Memory of Chris and Mike Leadingham)

This is the poem I wrote the day Chris and Mike died. I submitted it into a contest and it was published. I gave a copy of the book to Chris and Mike’s family. I hope that my poem will have the impact on other people so that they will drive more sensibly. I wouldn’t wish this kind of pain on anyone. This was written the night they were killed. May their spirits rest in peace. Here’s how it goes:

A Dear Friend

Today’s the day

I can’t believe you’re gone

They say you’re dead

I pray they’re wrong

You were driving

80 mph

You died an hour later

And took Michael too

They say you were high

I’m not sure that was you

You were like my little brother

Mindy was too in love with you

So here’s my final words

I don’t want to say goodbye

I’ll always see your face

In the back of my mind

I pray for your mother

For she lost two

Goodbye Chris and Michael

I’ll always remember you