It’s been a long eight months for Michelle Hagerty.
“Everything you do feels like you’re climbing Mt. Everest. So, you go to take a shower, you have to rest your arms between the shampoo and the condition,” Hagerty told us.
Hagerty is waiting for a heart transplant.
She’s was born with a heart defect and then in 2008 diagnosed with heart failure. She says every day is an uphill battle.
But, Hagerty isn’t just sharing her story with us. She’s a part of Donate Life’s new campaign: The Human Side of Donation.
“The important part of this campaign is to show the individuals that are truly effected by organ donation and transplantation,” Colleen Sullivan, CORE’s Director of Communication, said.
Hagerty said she’s proud to share her story, if that means more people register as donors.
“We have 118 thousand people waiting on the waiting list. The number continues to rise,” Sullivan told us.
Donate Life says less than 50 percent of people in Pennsylvania are organ donors, which is a problem.
For the thousands of people like Hagerty, every day they wait gets a little bit harder.
“I can see the deterioration. My husband can see it, and that’s probably the hardest part. Your family watching you get worse and worse,” Hagerty said.
Hagerty told us it’s an honor to represent Erie in such an important mission.
“Understand how important it is to register, not just push it off to the next time they go to the DMV and take action today,” Sullivan said.