Singing the Gift of Life at the Phillies game

YONG KIM / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER. Arlinda Griffin gets a kiss from Mary Smith before Griffin sang the National Anthem before the start of the Phillies/Braves game. Griffin was accompanied onto the field by Smith, the mother of her organ donor, who became a friend and helped arrange the performance on the night the Phillies recognize the Gift of Life program. on Saturday, July 29, 2017 in Philadelphia.
Ever since she was a little girl, Arlinda Griffin had a secret dream of singing the national anthem at a Phillies game.

Her dream came true Saturday night.

Griffin’s gospel- and soul-inflected a cappella performance before the Phillies-Braves game was one more miracle in an unusual journey. It began in 2011 when the North Philadelphia woman received a life-saving double-organ transplant from a 23-year-old Temple University graduate who died after a car accident.

A year ago, Griffin confided her dream of singing at Citizens Bank Park to Mary Smith of Warminster, whose son Eric had checked off the box to become an organ donor when he got his first driver’s license. Smith, who had forged a friendship with Griffin after she received two of her son’s organs, helped arrange for her to perform and escorted her onto the field as the Phillies observed organ donor awareness night. Continue reading

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