Fairview heart transplant patient shares story

Nearly 100,000 Americans are on a transplant waiting list.  Donate Life launched a campaign called, "The Human Side of Donation," sharing the personal stories of people impacted by transplants.

A woman from Fairview will be sharing her story in the state-wide effort.  21 year old Brittany Grimm received her transplant at 11 years old.  She's celebrating her 10 year anniversary with her new heart.  She says she owes her life to her organ donor.  

The Human Side of Donation Campaign is meant to encourage more people to register as organ donors.  Coordinators say this effort gives people a chance to understand the impact of donation on a personal level.

"I never take a day for granted," says Grimm, "I wake up every day and thank my donor, just because I wouldn't be here today if he wasn't my donor."  At nine years old, doctors told her parents she had Restrictive Cardiomyapothy, a condition that causes the heart to stiffen up and stop pumping blood.  Thanks to organ donation, she's been given a second chance.

Today, she shared her story across the state, with Donate Life's campaign, The Human Side of Donation, encouraging more people to register. Coordinators tell us less than 50 percent of Pennsylvanian's are registered donors.  "That means that not everyone is as lucky as Brittany is.  Sadly, one person in Pennsylvania dies every 18 hours waiting for a transplant," says Katelynn Metz, CORE Community Outreach Coordinator. 
"Campaign coordinators say sharing stories like Brittany's will help people at the DMV when they're deciding whether or not to become an organ donor," says Metz. "Not everybody is as lucky to be able to meet somebody who's had a life-saving transplant. So the idea of a transplant can be a bit foreign to them when they're going to the DMV to check that box."
More than eight-thousand people in the state sit on transplant waiting lists, so each person touched by the campaign, makes a big impact.  Grimm educates us, "You can save eight people's lives with transplantation and enhance the lives of many more through tissue donation, so it is very important." 
An Erie woman, Michelle Hagerty, is featured in the campaign, as well. To read more about both of their stories, visit:  http://www.donatelifepa.org/humanside/

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