Organ Donations Save Many Lives

Michael Graham at the age of nine. Photograph courtesy of Maria Graham.

More than 120,000 Americans are on waiting lists to receive organs that could extend their lives. Many, if not most, will be disappointed, because organs will not become available for them. Peta Cappello, a 59-year-old entrepreneur from Maryland, has lived with transplanted heart and lungs for nearly 21 years. As a “Donate Life Ambassador” for Washington Regional Transplant Community, a group that advocates for organ donation in the U.S. national capital area, she writes here of her experience and the gift of living she received from her donor.

By Peta Cappello

When I woke on February 9, my first thought was of Michael Graham. It was his birthday, and, had he lived, it would have been his 38th birthday. What might Michael have done that day, I wondered. What kind of man would he have become? He was a handsome 17-year-old when he passed away.

I had an appointment at the dermatologist for skin cancer treatment on Michael’s birthday, a side effect of being on immune suppressants for over 20 years. Well, 20-and a-half years to be exact, as I am counting down the months before the 21st anniversary of my heart and double lung transplant with Michael’s organs.

My transplant anniversary —> Read More Here


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