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Teenage organ donor saved a Canton mom's life, now she is working on his bucket list

Posted at 6:02 PM, Jun 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-06 18:16:22-04

CANTON, Mich. (WXYZ)  — Born with a missing heart valve, Keisha Dulin lived her life focused on caring for those she loved.

“I spent so many years preparing to not be here,” she said.

Then in 2018, her husband Richard died in a tragic six-vehicle crash in Van Buren Township. She found herself agonizing over how to survive. As the Canton mom waited on a transplant list, she worried about leaving their children with no parent.

In 2020 she received a phone call.

“June 5, 2020, I received my heart,” said Keisha.

“When Nick made that decision in 2019 to be an organ donor, I never imagined a year and a few months later I would honor that decision from my child,” said Aimee Cordrey.

Aimee Cordrey’s son Nick Cordrey was only 15-years-old. It happened on Memorial Day 2020.  The Ohio teen suddenly suffered an aneurysm.

“Life changed in a matter of 30 seconds,” said his mom. 

When Keisha reached out to Nick’s family to thank them for the gift of life, Aimee shared how she found a note Nick wrote featuring a bucket list.

“I found this and I am reading these 10 bucket list items and number 7 is 'save a life'. It is the only thing he got to do,” said Aimee.

“I made it my mission to finish his bucket list,” said Keisha.

Keisha has started working on his goal of visiting all 50 states. She is doing so with her children. She shared pictures on social media of her in Myrtle Beach last month holding’ Nick’s picture.

She hopes to take on other bucket list items as well, including learning how Sunny Delight is made.

Keisha and Nick’s mom are sharing this story because they hope it inspires others to seize the day. Do the things on your bucket list and maybe make a decision to someday offer a gift of life to help someone else do the things on their bucket list.

“I am happy to go on this journey and hope that Nick is happy too,” said Keisha.

“Live each moment to its fullest. Appreciate what you have and the people you are with,” said Aimee.

You can learn more about organ donation at