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Life Stories: A New Life at Full Throttle

George Rivera George Rivera

Heart Recipient: Tucson, AZ

A car enthusiast and organ recipient, George Rivera put his passions into full throttle when he customized a '67 Chevy Impala dedicated to his second chance at life.

In order to promote organ and tissue donation in his community, Rivera spent more than 2 years perfecting the car, named “Second Life,” which is painted blue and green and adorned with the Donate Life logo. The number 213 is painted on the back of the car, representing that George was the 213th patient to receive a heart transplant at University Medical Center in Tucson.

George contracted rheumatic fever as a child, damaging his heart. After graduating from high school, he was placed on the national transplant waiting list. Less than a year later, on December 2, 1989, he received his new heart.

Ten years later, he was diagnosed with renal failure and spent 3 years on dialysis before receiving a kidney transplant on March 29, 2003.

George's story is courtesy of Donor Network of Arizona, Phoenix, AZ.

“The reason why I'm [promoting organ and tissue donation] is because I was able to get a second life. This is my way to give back because I am living, from here it will catch on.”

— George Rivera


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