Mother Of Heart Transplant Recipient Shares Story of Hope

Our son was born in August 1998 in Anchorage, Alaska. I had a normal pregnancy with all the prenatal appointments, vitamins, and check-ups. I may have packed on a few too many pounds, but I was healthy and thrilled to be having a baby boy.

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Waiting With Hope: My Liver Transplant Story

Written by: Rhonda Fenske, Liver Transplant Recipient

I have a friend and his name is Jesus Christ. He is my Lord and Savior, and He is with me everywhere I go. He knows my every thought, need, and concern; moreover, He is my guiding light that leads my life. Sometimes, I have to wait for his answers, and sometimes, I am unsure of what His answers will be. However, He always knows what’s best for my life.

On May 1, 1971, I was diagnosed with a rare cholestatic liver disease called Alagille Syndrome. At that time, there were only thirteen cases in the world. Still today, Alagille Syndrome is considered to be very rare. With this disease, I had severe itching, jaundice, prominent facial characteristics, stunted growth and it affected my entire body. All the specialists at Rainbow Baby’s and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland Ohio addressed the medical issues as they occurred. However, my parents were told that I would likely not live to see up to or around 3 years of age. While the Lord knew His plans for my life, I had to wait for His answer. Living with Alagille Syndrome was never easy. I spent many months in and out of the Rainbow Babies And Children’s Hospital having to go through many surgeries. My parents spent many days and nights helping me deal with severe itching and scratching all over my body and to deal with the fatigue resulting from this disease. Taking short naps in grade school, was not an uncommon event for me and as I got older, my liver disease progressed. My eyes became more yellow, and my skin had a golden appearance as if I had a tan with very dry skin.

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To the Mother of My Son's Organ Donor

Written by: Kate Harris, Originally posted on

When my son, let’s call him Mr. Snuggles (he’s the snuggliest little love bug you’ll ever know), was seven weeks old, he suffered several episodes of acute cardiac arrest before ending up on life support, and, eventually, a Berlin Heart pump.

We were told his heart would never function properly on its own again. He needed a transplant. He is our first child, so while navigating the maze of hormones and sleeplessness that is new motherhood, I was then faced with the fact that I might lose this brand new infant into which I had poured my very being. And no one knew why.

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Make 'em Disappear: Why Organ Donation Is Critical In Giving Recipients a Second Chance

About the Author: Joel Stockstill is a nationally recognized speaker and 20 year ministry veteran. He has battled with kidney failure since age 16 and has been able to have an impact despite dialysis treatments 3 times per week. He is also a transplant recipient. Joel resides in Dallas, TX with his lovely wife Amie. Together they travel and speak to conferences and churches all over North America.

Every other day I sit at my chair and have my blood cleansed. As a long term dialysis patient I’ve seen many patients come and go in my time (20yrs). They sit next to me for a while and then one day, miraculously, they disappear from the clinic. Sometimes they have become a close friend or other times it takes a week or two to notice, but inevitably the question comes up, where did he/she go? The answer is a wonderful tribute to organ donation.

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Liver Transplant Recipient Grateful for Second Chance at Life

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Kidney Transplant Recipient Recounts Transplant Journey


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When Bad Things Happen, Choosing to Hold onto Love and Hope Can Be Difficult, Not Impossible

Editors Note: We are excited to introduce our very special 2015 Outlive Yourself Awards Event Chair, Kate Dorff. Here she shares the story of her sister Abbye Irons, a heart transplant recipient. For more information about Kate and the Outlive Yourself Awards event, please visit the end of this post.

Written by Kate Dorff, Recipient Family Member

Our story is different. How I wish the last paragraph of this post would end with you reading about my sister, Abbye, and the restoration of life that came with the gift of a new heart. Instead, this ending is going to be hard to read. It will most likely shake you to your core; leave you staring at your computer, wishing for an answer to one of life’s most infamous questions: why do bad things happen to good people? You might shake your fists at the sky or find your mouth hanging wide open with utter shock as you try and process the narrative. The main character is my twenty-eight year old sister who, in 2011, at age twenty-three, was diagnosed with viral cardiomyopathy. This diagnosis catapulted Abbye, my mom, and me down a road ending in our present circumstances; I wish we had taken a wrong turn along the way.

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