Double Lung Recipient
As a child, I acquired a rare lung disease, idiopathic pulmonary hemosiderosis, which lead to a bilateral transplant 37 years later. After the transplant, I contacted TransLife in Orlando to volunteer. A few years later, Kristine Neal joined, and we have worked together at many events.
The satisfaction of helping save lives, not only for the recipients but also for their families. Everyone has their own reason to volunteer, and hopefully, they enjoy it.
In November of 2005, I received two lungs at the University of Florida from a lady who was a great match. I have email contact with her two sons and daughter and sent them my swimming medal from the 2010 Transplant Olympics in honor of their mother. In 2016, my wife and I moved to Greenville, SC to be near our daughters and their young families. (Kristine then followed me to Sharing Hope!)
A friend and I founded the Longwood Rehab Charity Golf Tournament in 2011 to benefit transplant patients who need financial assistance with their housing after surgery at UFHealth. Over the last 10 years they have raised over $175,000.
I am pushed by the 21 people who die each day in the US waiting for a transplant. It would be nice to see that number close to zero, and increasing donors will help. There are people who have never thought about being a donor or have reservations about it – it is these people we want to discuss organ donation with and see them become a donor! I was able to see my daughters graduate from high school and college, be at their weddings, and see my three great-grandsons. I want others who need a transplant to experience these types of life events. I enjoy the organ donation fundraising runs as it brings so many people together. I also like speaking to Rotary Clubs and other organizations about organ donation.