Organ Recipient Lives Life With Heart

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Every ten minutes someone is added to the National Organ Transplant Network, and because the need outpaces the supply, 22 people die every day in this country waiting for a donated organ or tissue.

That may have been the case for Donna Pierce, but through organ donation, she went on not only to live, but thrive.

But thanks to a donor, her heart valve was fixed. The co-owner of Arenal Fitness in Pikesville says a congenital heart defect left her being the pale, frail kid in the corner. And now, she does Cross Fit and boxing.

“I could barely walk up a flight of stairs,” she tells WJZ.  “When that limitation came off, it was like, ‘okay lets go,'” she said.

And now, she’s asking us all to do just that.

You can get the organ donation icon on your license, and even participate or volunteer for the Donate Life 5k fun run to support organ donors and recipients, from the Living Legacy Foundation of Maryland.

It’s their goal to get 3,800 people to take part, because that’s the number of people in Maryland waiting for an organ.

“We want you to represent everyone waiting for an organ in Maryland,” says organizer Ieesha Johnson.

She too had life-saving treatment using tissue from an organ donor.  There are now lives saved, with recipients as strong as they’ve ever been.

Donna Pierce is the living proof of the power of being a donor. She thinks about her heart valve donor often.

“I think about her all the time. I’m going to get weepy. I wouldn’t have this life if it wasn’t for her.”

On Saturday, October 1, The Donate for Life Fun Run will be held at the parking lot between Camden Yards and Ravens Stadium. It costs $10-$30 to register.

More from Mike Schuh
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