Kristina’s Bucket List: Save Somebody’s Life — “Which She Did That, Many Times Over — by Donating Her Organs, She Saved Lives”

In September 2013, Chico State University nursing student Kristina Chesterman, who was from Livermore, California, died at age 21 when a driver hit her as she was riding her bicycle on a busy road in Chico, California. The driver of the SUV that hit Kristina was arrested and charged with felony hit-and-run and felony driving under the influence causing serious injury or death. On 23 September 2013, Kristina’s mother, Sandra, wrote on Facebook, “At 11:04 pm last night my beautiful baby girl Kristina was struck by a 19-year-old drunk driver while she rode her bike in the bike lane home from study hall. She was less than one block from home. The driver just left her in the road to die and went on to crash into two more cars then stumbled into his apartment and passed out drunk … Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers.” Kristina was left brain-dead, and her family made the decision to switch off her life support. Kristina was a registered organ donor, and her wishes were carried out. Her friend Morgan Burbach said, “I never met a person more caring and loving. She was going to make an amazing nurse. She loved it. It was her passion.” When Kristina’s parents cleaned out her apartment, they made a discovery. Sandra said, “I opened up a drawer and I found just this make-up bag.” Inside the makeup bag was Kristina’s bucket list. Sandra said, “I mean what kid writes a bucket list? There’s not many.” What was on the bucket list? Sandra said, “She wanted to tour Niagara Falls. Save someone’s life, which she did that, many times over — by donating her organs, she saved lives. This next one makes me laugh. She wanted to break up a fight between two guys over her, which I think is so cute. And I don’t know that it ever happened, but it should have.” Kristina’s parents, Sandra and David, decided to do something. David said, “Because she didn’t get to do this, we wanted to complete it for her.” In addition, they posted the bucket list on Facebook, and now complete strangers are doing the things on the list. David said, “I think that it is just amazing that she could have that effect on someone who never even knew her.”

For More Information: Steve Hartman, “On The Road: Parents mourn daughter’s death by living out her dreams.” CBS News. 25 July 2014

For More Information: “Nursing student, 21, dies a block from her home after ‘drunk driver’ hit her as she rode her bicycle back from the library.” Daily Mail (UK). 25 September 2014

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