Voices of Donation

Donated tissue can dramatically improve the quality of life for recipients and even save lives. This is thanks to the generous gift of life given by thousands of donors each year. We hope that these stories of how tissue donation and transplantation have touched the lives of others will inspire you.

Phillip Mattes

Phillip Mattes

Philip “Fibber” Mattes was a cowboy at heart. Cowboy boots, cowboy hats, blue jeans and ratty old barn jackets were some of his favorite things.

Mattes passed away at the age of 73 due to a seizure, which caused heart failure. His wife Diane remembers Philip as loving. “He loved cattle auctions, trading cows, and he loved his beagle dog Gretchen.”

Being in the business since the age of 16, Philip had a great understanding of the cattle industry. “He knew about all the buyers and traders in Wisconsin, Iowa and the Dakotas, having been in the industry since he was 16,” Diane said.

He was nicknamed “Fibber,” which was a suspect name for a cattle buyer. “He had a nickname for everyone,” his wife said.

The decision to donate was an easy one for the Mattes family.

“I think it was assumed,” Diane said. “It’s good to make it possible for others to get well live.”