Gift of life touched many in San Angelo

San Angelo Standard Times | Ami Mizell-Flint

SAN ANGELO, Texas — While many are celebrating Valentine's Day with gifts of love, the Texas Organ Sharing Alliance is hoping that people will make the decision to give the ultimate gift of love today — which also is National Donor Day — by registering to be organ donors.

Anyone in Tom Green County who made that decision would be in a large company of others — the county has one of the largest proportion of registered organ donors in Texas. Organ donations and transplants have touched the lives of many in the Concho Valley.

Since having a heart transplant in June 2010, San Angelo resident and middle school teacher Sarah Pipkin has been able to get back to the active lifestyle she loves.

"I've been able to complete a full marathon, a half-marathon and a triathlon," she said.

She was one of 12 participants from Texas to take part in last year's Lone Star Circle of Life Tour, a 655-mile bike tour throughout Texas to raise awareness about the need for lifesaving donations of blood, marrow, organs and tissues.