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Gary, Katy and Dee Lynk

Nearly ten years ago, the Lynk family changed forever when on December 16, 2008, Dee Lynk came upon an accident. She got out of her vehicle thinking she would help whoever was involved. It turned out to be her daughter, Katy. 

Katy, then 26, sustained major trauma which resulted in a significant brain injury. Gary, Dee's husband and Katy's dad, recalls how she was hooked up to anything and everything. Their doctor recommended sending her to On With Life. 

"We had never heard of it," said Dee. "We were scared to death, but our doctor said, 'If this was my daughter, I would take her to On With Life.'" 

Katy was transferred to On With Life five weeks after her accident, still in a coma. She woke up at the end of March and ultimately was served in On With Life's Inpatient program for five months before coming home with her parents to their Marshalltown home in July 2009. 

One of the things the Lynks remember is Katy was one of a group of five between the ages of 16-26 all being served at On With Life at the time. 

"They all five came in a coma, and they all walked out the door," Gary said. "It was amazing to have them all there together, fighting to get their life back." 

Since Katy's stay, Dee and Gary have made annual contributions to the On With Life Foundation. 

"We continue to give in appreciation for what On With Life has done for Katy," said Gary. "She would not be near as far along as she is without On With Life - it's set the foundation for everything she has been able to accomplish. Plus, we want to help some way in paying it forward for families like ours."

Dee continued, "We go to the reunions and we walk the halls. We see family members and we think, 'We were there and we know what it's like.'"

Because of their deep appreciation for On With Life and their desire to ensure the programs exist for those in the future, the Lynks have dedicated a percent of their trust to be transferred to On With Life. 

"Our future gift will help sustain a program we care deeply about," Dee  said. "We want to make an ongoing gift, even after we are gone." 

If you would like to visit with staff regarding a current or future planned gift for On With Life, please contact 515-289- 9611 or