BROOKFIELD, Wis. – A new non-profit organization is launched in memory of Brookfield pilot Daniel Perelman, 18, who died days after his plane crashed in Wauwatosa on May 26.
His parents tell TMJ4 News that the community’s response to the tragedy involving their son inspired them to carry on Daniel’s legacy in a special way.
“Before we got on that plane, he hugged us, kissed us, we said ‘I love you’ and when he walked down the runway he gave us a thumbs up. Then, we saw a few passages in the sky and it happened shortly after,” said Ana Perelman, Daniel’s mother.
In their first interview since the accident, Ana and her husband Benjamin, Daniel’s father, say the last memory will haunt them for the rest of their lives.
The fatal accident is still under investigation, but in the meantime the community has stepped up in a major way.
“We found out how many extra lives he touched that we weren’t even aware of,” Ana said.
Thousands of people began to perform acts of kindness. The movement was named Deeds for Daniel. Hundreds of people sent heartwarming cards, flowers and memorials to help keep Daniel’s memory alive.
“Cards were coming in for weeks and weeks. We still get the occasional card,” Benjamin said.
Perlman blood drive in honor of pilot who died in plane crash
Even Daniel gave back at the end of his short life.
“He saved four lives. His organs, his heart, his two kidneys and his liver, were transplanted into four living donors,” Benjamin said.
It was all this good that led Mr. and Mrs. Perelman to start a non-profit organization in their son’s name.
The Perelmans launch Daniel Gives Back.
“Saving lives and improving lives, and that’s what the spirit and purpose of the organization is going to be,” Ana said.
The non-profit organization’s website shares this mission statement: “Daniel would change the world, leaving behind a legacy of academic and intellectual curiosity and excellence, combined with a strong sense of social justice and community service. In his memory, we will help other bright and ambitious people achieve their goals, making this world a better place by pursuing higher education and developing strong social responsibility that will better our community and the society we live in. .”
The Perelmans also team up with Versiti Blood Center to hold a blood drive in Daniel’s memory. The event will take place on Tuesday, July 12 from 1:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at 1275 N. Barker Road in Brookfield.
Click HERE to donate to Daniel Gives Back. Click HERE to register or to learn more about how to donate blood on Tuesday.
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