ORGAN DONOR: Cheryl Daugherty honors husband who passed away in bike accident
L-R: Cheryl Daugherty with some of Carl’s organ donor recipients: Michelle - liver, Carlos - heart, and Naiomy - kidney.
Carl Daugherty, a Sanger resident, became an organ donor in 2014 when he was struck by a car while riding his bike in preparation for the HHH - Hotter than Hell Hundred. He was the husband of Chisholm Trails’s P.E. teacher Cheryl Daugherty. They had been married for 29 years. Since his organ donation, the Daugherty family has met and become friends with Carl’s liver, heart and kidney recipients. Last month, members of Carl’s family completed the HHH and shared at the Donate Life booth to promote organ donation. The organ recipients are doing well and they share a common bond and friendship with Carl’s extended family. Hotter’N Hell Hundred grew out of efforts to find a special way for Wichita Falls to celebrate its 1982 centennial. The Wichita Falls Bicycle Club proposed a bicycle ride – 100 miles in 100 degree heat to celebrate 100 years, coining the name: Hotter’N Hell Hundred. The rest is Hotter’N Hell History. They grew geometrically for several years. The Hotter’N Hell Hundred is still the largest single-day 100-mile bicycle ride in the nation – and one of the largest in the world. In 2017 Hotter’N Hell Hundred saw almost 11,000 registrants for the weekend events. Carl Read Daugherty, 50, died Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014 from injuries sustained in a cycling accident. Born March 14, 1964 in Wichita Falls, to Erwin and Mary Beth Daugherty, he married Cheryl Stewart on July 27, 1985. Together, they have three children, Caleb, Charity and Curtis. He was preceded in death by his mother, Mary Beth. He is survived by his wife, Cheryl; his three children; his father, Erwin, of Greenville; sisters, Laura Klejnot of Fort Wayne, IN; Becky Fowler of Fort Wayne, IN; and Lois Jane Phillips of Claymont, DE. Carl graduated from Allen High School in 1983 and later graduated from Lincoln Technical Institute where he received training in automotive engineering. He obtained his masters degree at the “University of Hard Knocks,” where he graduated summa cum laude. He was a programmer for Poco Graphite in Decatur where he had worked for many years. Carl loved his family, the outdoors, tinkering with cars and trucks and his latest love in life was taking to the air as a private pilot and full-fledged member of the Hangar-10 Flying Museum in Denton. His talent with his hands was only overshadowed by his protective love for his family./ He was a Christian and an organ donor and it was the family’s prayer that lives helped by his gift of life will be lives that live for Jesus Christ. LAST RIDE Carl was doing his last training ride in preparation for the HHH 100-mile race in 2014. He was struck by a car on FM 2449, the road that goes from I-35 to Ponder. He had his accident the week of the ride and died 9 days later. “The year Carl died, we were supposed to stay with his long time friend Madeline – Mindy-Hinojosa Cavinder and her husband Donnie,” said Cheryl. “Since Carl’s death, for the last three years, we have become friends with Mindy and she and her family have hosted my family with a pre-ride dinner and breakfast and let us bunk at her house instead of staying at a costly hotel. It is fun to hear of Mindy’s stories and the things she and Carl used to do.” Fast forward a few years, and Cheryl felt the need to meet the people Carl helped as an organ donor. “The first meeting was very tearful but meeting each person was easier and easier.” The process for meeting recipients went through the Southwest Transplant Alliance. “We wrote letters to each other and they were forwarded to each other with details blacked out,” Cheryl explained. “We then signed a waiver and we were given permission to communicate in person.” Cheryl said the letters received from the recipients were very meaningful. “It is neat to know that part of Carl lives on. It will be probably very sad when I lose one of Carl’s recipients, but the joy of knowing them has been wonderful. We are friends with a very special bond.” Michelle (the liver recipient) called Cheryl the February after Carl’s accident, on Feb. 14 – National Donation Day, and they talked for the first time. “When we met we cried and hugged,” Cheryl said. “It is so much fun to hear their stories and to let them know about Carl. It has been wonderful and inspiring to meet his recipients.” The photo at the stock yards (on the front page) was at a donate life event in the spring. “The recipients and I have gotten together two times for the Donate Life event. Last year Michelle (the liver recipient) and I worked the Donate Life Booth at the HHH Ride together. This year my family and I were at the Donate Life booth at the HHH with Carl’s picture. My brother, Todd Stewart of Elk City, mother Nancy Stewart of Sanger, Alicia Stewart of Beaumont, TX, my niece and I rode. My family continues to be cyclists. I have joined a group called Path Finders – cyclists who look for safe paths to ride on. And I enjoy the Bike Dallas Ride which is a ride that is around Dallas that is completely car-free with police escorts.” Each of Carl’s organ recipients has been to Cheryl’s house and has spent time with her family. “Michelle met my son Caleb five minutes before his wedding in 2015, so part of Carl was at the wedding. Carlos – the heart recipient – let me listen to his heart. Naiomy – the kidney recipient – came for a visit. I now have friends that have been touched by our family. They each have a special place in my heart,” Cheryl said. “God has been good to our family and it is a blessing to have been able to touch others in the midst of our hard time. It is so encouraging that we were able to help some very awesome people. Carl was so proud of being a donor.” “He was able to help many other people, but we do not know them,” Cheryl added. “Carl became multicultural – his body parts now have homes in a Hispanic person, a person from the island of Micronesia, and black gentleman. It is so neat that transplants have nothing to do with the color of one’s skin.” Cheryl encourages everyone to become an donor. “I know that when I am done with my body if someone can use my spare parts they are welcome to them. My father was an organ donor as well, and he and Carl also donated lots of blood during their years alive. I guess you would say it is the ultimate in recycling. It is amazing how fantastic God made the human body. Donate Life ... it makes a difference.”