Pleasanton Weekly | Jeremy Walsh
Event comes almost five years to the day after his successful kidney transplant
|Pleasanton resident Rafael Herrera throws out the ceremonial first pitch at a San Francisco Giants game earlier this month. (Photo by Robert Grant, courtesy of Donor Network West)|
Longtime Pleasanton resident Rafael Herrera tossed the opening pitch as the San Francisco Giants celebrated Donate Life Day on July 8 -- almost five years to the day since he received a successful transplant amid his battle with kidney failure.
Throwing out the ceremonial first pitch at a Major League Baseball game provided an all-time thrill. Doing so while representing a life-saving cause that restored his own good health made the moment all the more special for Herrera.
"It's an experience of a lifetime. I never in my life expected to do anything like this," Herrera, 59, said of his appearance at AT&T Park representing transplantation support organization Donor Network West. "The idea is to pay a tribute to the people that donate organs and to propagate the word that organ donation saves lives."
A native of Colombia, Herrera first moved to California for a couple years in the 1970s for undergraduate studies at University of the Pacific in Stockton. He and wife Marina relocated permanently in 1982 while he worked to complete a master's degree in operation research from Cal State East Bay. Continue reading