YNN, Your News Now | Sarah Biazonis
UTICA, N.Y. -- It's been a year of change for three-year-old Levi Bartlett and his family.
"It's gone from a life of alarms and dialysis and delivery trucks to pre-school and less appointments, no machines," said Lisa Novak, Levi's grandmother.
It's all thanks to the gift of a complete stranger.
Since birth, Levi had struggled with the effects of being born with prune belly syndrome and the end stages of renal failure. Since receiving a kidney transplant last May 19, he's eating on his own, constantly on the go and on his way to becoming the next basketball great.
"They've certainly given Levi quite a life," said Novak. "It's quite a gift."
Levi is one of the lucky ones.
The Center for Donation and Transplant says that while 30,000 people receive organ transplants every year, there are more than 100,000 names still left on waiting lists.
It's because of that need seen by thousands of families like Levi's that St. Elizabeth's Medical Center formed its Donation Council. The council will work with the Center for Donation and Transplant to raise awareness about the need for donors, let people learn more about the process, and let them fill out registration forms where they can choose among a variety of different types of organ donations.
Read more: http://centralny.ynn.com/content/top_stories/580905/family-says-organ-donation-is-a-life-changing-gift/