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Life Stories

Every day, people of all ages and backgrounds become recipients—and donors—of organs, eyes, and tissues. Lives are transformed.

Donor families turn loss into hope. Advocates spread the message.

See what donation makes possible with these inspiring stories.

Featured Story
Texas
Blake
Heart Recipient
One person can save eight lives and improve 50 others.
See Blake's Story
California
Abhishek
Karma is a big deal. If you sign up as an organ donor, it would be a good deed.
Hawaii
Abraham
“I feel very proud of my son...The light was shining on him. He was a giver who gave to the very end.” – Malani
Texas
Alejandro
“Thanks to their gift, he now has the opportunity to see the world and all its beauty.” — Alejandro’s family
Kentucky
Amelia
"The real heroes are the donor families. I look at it this way: there could have been two tragedies, but my donor family turned their tragedy into a blessing. I’m forever grateful." — Amelia
New Mexico
America
America is a two-time kidney recipient
Florida
Anand
“No one knows when they may die, but when you go, you can leave a legacy.” — Tribhawan, Anand’s Father
Minnesota
Anne
Anne’s donation transformed the lives of several recipients and their families. In gratitude, she was named a “Star of Life.”
California
BJ
In his death, BJ gave life to 4 other people.
Texas
Blake
One person can save eight lives and improve 50 others.
Michigan
Brandon
“Brandon was a giving person. This was his last gift.” — Constance
New York
Brendan
I wouldn’t be able to do anything that I do today without my donor and her family.
Louisiana
Brennon
“I could hear him telling me, 'Mom, are you serious? If I could help 70 people, of course I would.'” – Megan, Brennon’s mother
Maryland
Brittany
“I know that I am not just reaching my goals, but your goals as well.” — Brittany
Massachusetts
Caitlin
“Say yes, check the box and tell your family. You have the chance to do something great.”
District of Columbia
Caleb
After receiving a new kidney, Caleb now enjoys T-ball and “all things superheroes.”
Texas
Carlee
“Yes, you can have two heart transplants but you can do whatever you want to do, or be who you want to be.”
Texas
Carlton
Thanks to Carlton’s gift, a 69-year-old woman suffering from end-stage liver disease is alive and is progressing well.
Florida
Cesar
“I had two kidneys. I gave away one...one healthy kidney...I did what I wanted to do and what I had to do as a husband.” – Cesar
California
Chris
"Your well-being changes from loss of hope...to hope...to better times ahead."
South Dakota
Christina
“The giving of oneself is just the ultimate way of saying thank you for being created.” — Christina
Maryland
Daisy
Rosa and Francisco decided to donate Daisy’s organs, a decision that helps them deal with their pain to this day.
New York
Dalton
“As our family began the Honor Walk, the choirs followed, and their voices filled the halls.” – Dexter, Dalton’s father
Maryland
Daniel
“I'm looking at myself, what was left of me, but I still had my mind. So everything told me to fight so my son could have his father." – Daniel
California
Dr. Daw
“As a physician, our mother had cared for so many people. This last gift she made is an everlasting testament to her character.” — the family of Dr. Daw
California
Ernest
“With his donation, five lives have been saved. He did a great thing.” — Bernice, Ernest’s Wife
Texas
Estevan
“Estevan was the best child anybody could have. He never met a stranger. He was an angel and a gentleman. It was an honor being his mother.” – Rosie, Estevan’s mother
Indiana
Faith
“That’s what I wanted to do. Not for Steve, not for anybody else. It was for me, period. There was never any doubt.” – Faith
New York
Frank & Alisa
“I'd either drop dead or I’d have a normal life. I was so tired of waiting, so sick of being in the hospital. Whatever happened, I wouldn’t be sick anymore.” – Frank
Pennsylvania
Gabriel
For Gabriel, the gift of life included the gift of a childhood that he enjoys to the fullest.
Hawaii
Gene
In his wife Deborah’s words, he was “a wonderful husband and a very humble man.”
Arizona
George
“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
Pennsylvania
Glenn
Glenn comes from a long line of boxing professionals. But waiting for his kidney was the most challenging fight of his life.
Indiana
Haley
The onset of a rare blood condition eroded Haley’s quality of life in every way, until a five-organ transplant sent her spinning in a new direction.
Connecticut
Janet
“The need for transplantation can affect anyone—young, old, male, and female in any ethnic or cultural group.” — Janet
California
Jason
“We are so grateful … we want to express our deepest appreciation to the donor’s parents.” — Jason’s parents
Illinois
Jazmyne
Tanyice and Clarence are honoring their daughter Jazmyne’s spirit of giving by establishing programs and community events that promote organ donation.
Georgia
Jillian
A loving daughter is inspired by her father’s gift of life.
California
Johnny
Staying true to his generous spirit, Johnny’s mother donated his corneas and tissues.
Maryland
Kathryn
“I’ve seen the lowest of lows. The only thing you can do is be positive.” – Kathryn
California
Kelly
“We think of Kelly’s donor family and thank them in our hearts every day.” — Cathy, Kelly’s mother
California
Kelvin
“After four months of waiting, he received the call. ‘I was so excited, because it gave me hope. Hope to see my sons grow up and spend more time with my wife and family...” – Kelvin
Georgia
Ken
Ken won three swimming medals at the 2008 National Kidney Foundation U.S. Transplant Games and now competes in triathlons.
California
Khalieghya
“What an amazing gift that mother would give to me and my family. I will be forever grateful.” — Khalieghya's mother
Minnesota
Klarissa
Klarissa has participated in two National Kidney Foundation U.S. Transplant Games and speaks on the importance of organ donation.
Maryland
Linda
“To us, every day is an ice cream sundae with a great big glop of whipped cream and a cherry on top. We are alive. We are here and we thank you, thank you, thank you." — Linda
Colorado
Manuel
“Manuel has taught me a lot about courage. Life goes on and he goes on with it.” — CoCo, Manuel’s caregiver
Texas
May
World champion martial arts competitor May continues her winning ways with an allograft transplant.
Texas
Mikey
The family has continued to give back to their community as LifeGift Vital Volunteers
Florida
Mireya
“When I was at my sickest, I felt there was no hope left for me. Now I provide hope to those who are waiting for the gift of life.” — Mireya
Texas
Nicholas
When Texas passed organ donation legislation, Nicholas and his mother were present to celebrate donors and their families.
Michigan
Patrick
“I feel, as I’m sure many recipients do, a drive and responsibility to use this phenomenal gift to its fullest; to use it not only to benefit my own life, but the lives of others." — Patrick
Arkansas
Rhonda
“Through donation, we have found peace. Rhonda is our beautiful guardian angel.”
New York
Roxanne
“I want to sign up the most people in the United States. That’s my goal.”
Tennessee
Sabrina
“I can’t tell you how wonderful my life has become. An organ donor truly saves lives and gives hope.” — Sabrina
California
Sara
"As a family, this is our story. I have to embrace it. I want to have the legacy of Lucas live on.”— Mona
North Dakota
Sarah & Cameron
After a fatal car accident, Sarah’s son Cameron saved and restored over 20 lives. His gifts even helped his mother heal.
California
Sergio
“Thanks to my sister, Claudia, I am alive today and doing what I love to do most: helping others.” — Sergio
California
Shutong
“Shutong’s donor, Matthew, saved other lives indirectly. One woman made the decision to become a donor when she heard Shutong’s story.” — Shutong’s mother
New York
Stephen
“Without that mother and her now ten-year-old daughter, my story would be quite different. So life is good once again.” — Stephen
Illinois
Steve
“It’s an incredible gift, and there’s no age limit on who can give, and who can’t.”
Puerto Rico
Yatska
Following her lifesaving kidney transplant, Yatska became a volunteer for LifeLink of Puerto Rico.