Since 2000, the United States organ transplant waiting list has grown by an average of approximately 3,000 candidates per year. The continuing growth of the waiting list has motivated the donation and transplantation community to adopt creative techniques to inspire people to choose to be organ and tissue donors. I think Revive Hope is one of many "techniques" that does this. Another innovative effort is the entry of a donation/transplantation-
Heart Recipient Float Rider sponsored by Transplants for Children
Diagnosed with heart-enlarging viral cardiomyopathy at age 17, Bonnie Lundy-Kwan spent the last years of her adolescence living with dying. "When my life should have been filled with hopes and dreams, I woke each day with a sense of impending doom, knowing that it could be my last and that my future was bleak. My only hope was a heart transplant."
Bonnie recalled, "In August 1992, when I was 21 years old, I came to know Shay Ledbetter. That summer as I lay dying in Houston, she was experiencing life as it should be lived by someone our age. I was in the nadir of my life, and she was at the zenith of hers, attending graduate school in sociology at the University of North Texas and making big plans for her future. On August 3, our fates suddenly reversed. While taking an evening walk, a vehicle struck her from behind. Suffering a closed head injury, she lay in a coma for five days before being declared brain dead."
Following her wishes, the Ledbetter family made the decision to donate Shay's organs, and the next day Bonnie received her heart. Realizing the magnitude of the gift she had been given, Bonnie felt that she had a responsibility to make the most of her life and to keep Shay's memory alive.
After her transplant, Bonnie chose to pursue a meaningful career in the non-profit sector and began volunteering with Transplants for Children (TFC). "I quickly realized that I had a powerful story to tell, and that my talent was to lead others by example, thus providing hope to every mother, father, and child that their dreams for a rich, fulfilling life were still very achievable," said Bonnie.
Read the rest of Bonnie's story.
"Too often organ recipients are the focus of attention, when in fact the donors and their families are the real heroes. I was dying and could not make the choice to live when Shay saved my life. Now I feel in my own way that I'm saving hers."