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Transplant Awareness


transplant awareness
Robert J. Perry

Leslie mcCall is fighting for her life. But that hasn’t stopped the 26-year-old Danville resident from raising awareness about the need for organ donors nationwide.

McCall was born with congenital heart disease. She had heart surgery five times before she was 18 years old. Twenty days before her high school graduation, she went on the waiting list for a heart transplant. After waiting almost 23 months, the Colorado native received a transplant in Denver in March of 2001. Her heart came from a 38-year-old woman who had donated organs and tissue, including her kidneys, lungs, and liver, which went to a total of eight people.

Unfortunately, McCall’s body soon began to reject her new heart. In need of a second heart transplant—as well as new kidneys—she enrolled in the transplant program at Stanford and moved to the East Bay in June of 2005. “I went to Stanford because they could provide the best care for me,” she says. “[And] my mom fell in love with Danville.”

McCall is waiting once again, but she has hardly been idle. Inspired by Lance Armstrong, she proposed that the Donor Awareness Coalition in Colorado release its own line of wristbands. The green bracelets are imprinted with the words Donate Life in both English and Spanish. The Donate Life bracelets were so popular when they were released in Colorado that they became available nationwide in just 37 days.

For more information about organ donation, visit www.unos.org . To become an organ donor, sign up for the Donate Life California Registry (www.donatelifecalifornia.org ). Bracelets are available at www.donatelife.net .

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