21/11/2015 11:39 AM AEDT | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST

Sunday Is DonateLife Thank You Day When The Community Can Show Gratitude To Donors

Nineteen year old Alysha McDowell returned from an overseas holiday, she sat down with her parents and told them she wanted to be an organ donor.

"These aren't the sorts of things a 19 year old usually thinks about but she was a bit mature like that," her father Bruce McDowell said.

"Sometimes going overseas can prompt you to want to get things in order."

When she died in a car accident about a week later, McDowell said the family knew what she wanted.

Bruce's daughter Alysha died in a car accident when she was 19.

McDowell said they found themselves part of the organ and tissue donation family.

"And it really is a family," McDowell said.

"When your child dies, it can be confronting. How do you speak to someone who has lost a child? The conversation ends up being full of cliches and stuff you hear all the time and to be honest, it doesn't help.

"When you speak to another person who lost a child or a loved one, it's a very powerful thing. It's so much easier knowings exactly what you’re talking about.

"On the other side is the experience of receiving an organor tissue -- that in itself is a very special experience for some."

McDowell is now chair of charity Donor Families Australia and this Sunday will be the first national DonateLife Thank You Day, when the community can show their gratitude to organ and tissue donors and their family.

"The fact that Alysha was an organ donor didn't make the grief any less intense, but it certainly made us proud as a family. This is her legacy. She was a wonderful daughter for 19 years and now this is her legacy -- to improve people's lives.

On Sunday, say thank you using the #DonateLifeThankYouDay hashtag or register as an organ and tissue donor on the Australian Organ Donor Register.