According to Southwest Transplant Alliance Foundation volunteer/transplant recipient Heather Kagel,
“I learned about Southwest Transplant Alliance as I was preparing from my lung transplant in 2019. I owe my life to organ donation.
“Thanks to a kind organ donor and their selfless family, I was able to receive a double lung transplant in October 2019. Without this life saving transplant, I would not be here. Today, I can make memories with my husband and my children. I can laugh and run. I can travel again. I can hug my Mom and spend time with my sister and brothers. I am strong and healthy again and have so much to look forward to. I am so grateful.
“And although volunteering has been a little challenging with COVID restrictions, I have found different ways to support STA’s lifesaving mission. I created discharge kits for transplant patients leaving the hospital, and I assembled and mailed thank you packages to our first responders. Even though I cannot go out much, it feels good to do good from my home, and if you look around, you can find a way to make a difference too!
“I love encouraging others to register to be an organ donor at organ.org/register, and I want to tell all the incredible donor families out there what a difference their gifts make. Truly, there is no greater gift than a life-saving organ; it is the most beautiful gift possible.
“STA believes life is a gift, and its mission is to build a bridge between those experiencing their greatest loss to those receiving a second chance at life – a place where hope and grief come together. STA saves lives through organ and tissue donation, providing compassion-centered care every step of the way.
“This work is sustainable because of friends like you. As you look for ways to give this season, consider supporting hope and the Southwest Transplant Alliance Foundation and its work to save lives, care for organ donor families, and advance the industry through groundbreaking research.
* Graphic/photo provided by Southwest Transplant Alliance Foundation