By Jim Williams

(CBS) — The parents of a 16 year old who died suddenly last month were honored Wednesday for giving others life.

CBS 2’s Jim Williams reports they are encouraging to do the same.

“Jermaine was a very talented, smart young man and it was something he wanted to do,” said Tarcia Patton, Jermaine’s mother.

It just so happens, Jermaine Cullum said he wanted to be an organ donor just one month before he died.

“He would do whatever he can to help you out. My son was probably one of the greatest kids you could ever meet,” said Jermaine Cullum Sr.

And so in their darkest moment, after the 16-year-old collapsed at a basketball tournament last month and was taken off life support, Jermaine’s parents donated his organs and they’re trying to convince others to become organ donors.

Patton says people have come up to them and said that they want to sign up and help people.

For that effort, they were honored today by the Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network, which is recruiting more donors in the black community.

“We are disproportionally represented in the population of people who need transplants,” said Preckwinkle.

African-Americans are 12 percent of the U.S. population, but 35 percent of those waiting for transplants are black.”

Jermaine Cullum’s parents say three people so far have received their son’s organs.

“He is living on in someone else,” said Patton.

Jeramine’s parents have used social media to stress the importance of organ donation. Secretary of State Jesse White said Wednesday 5,000 people are waiting for donations in Illinois. He told CBS 2 300 die each year waiting for organs.

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