After being saved by organ donors twice, Carthage man inspires others

KSDK | Anna Allred
Three possible fatal diagnoses and this young Missouri man isn't even 30 years old. 

CARTHAGE, MO. - A Carthage, Missouri, man isn’t even 30 and he has already faced three possible fatal diagnoses. Twice, organ donors saved Will Hawkins’ life. Now, he is inspiring others with his fighting spirit.

Will was born with congenital heart defects. At the age of 10, he received a heart transplant.

His mother, Barbara Rodrigues, will never forget the sacrifice of the little girl who passed away and the family that donated her organs.

“He was so young but he was so sick. It was a relief to know he had a second chance at life,” she said.

Will suffered developmental delays from the heart defects, but he persevered. But in his teens, disease struck again. Will had cancer. It was a type of lymphoma and he underwent chemotherapy.

Will beat the cancer and during his teenage years found the passion that would keep him fighting. Will started volunteering as the manager of the Carthage High School freshman baseball team.

“It’s my life,” Will said.

Coaches and players say Will often delivers pep talks in the dugout during games. Continue reading

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