Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Oct. golf tourney raises money, awareness for organ donation

The Charlotte Observer | Suzanne Fulton

Gary Simmons, who received a liver transplant, and others formed Save A life Group.

Near death after waiting 16 months on the organ transplant list, Gary Simmons got a call from an “angel” 9 p.m. Jan 23, 2013. He said the angel was the post-op nurse at the CMC Transplant Center. The nurse said, “Gary, we have a liver match.”

He recalls that he and wife, Lib McGregor Simmons, pastor of Davidson College Presbyterian Church, broke down in tears and said a prayer for the donor’s grieving family.

“Aside from some close calls in Vietnam, the waiting and deterioration of my health was the toughest condition I have ever faced,” said Simmons, 66, who lives in Davidson.

Raising awareness of the organ donor registry to new levels in order to save more lives has become his mission.

Simmons maintains, “When less than 50 percent of those eligible are registered donors – yet 90 percent of the nation feel organ donation is the right thing – we have a problem.

“The ‘cure’ to changing that is more awareness and education. We need more folks to say ‘yes’ at the DMV, so more of the estimated 3,200 North Carolinians on the waiting list can be saved.” Continue reading

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