Morning HoNey’s! Today I’m going to turn the tables to a bit of serious conversation regarding organ donation. Last month, I was able to interview Olympic Bronze Medalist, Chris Klug and David Fleming, CEO of Donate Life America in regard to the word that they do for organ donation awareness. While Organ Donation Awareness month was last month, I do feel that this subject is important each and every day of the year, especially since my uncle donated organs after his life was taken from him two years ago.
Our interview started pretty early in the morning, and I am grateful that Chris was gracious enough to talk to me at a little after six in the morning, his time. Chris, for those of you who don’t know was diagnosed with Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis in 1991 and received his transplant in 2000 after being on the waiting list for six years. He left the hospital 4 days after his transplant and one and a half years later he was winning Olympic medals for being an awesomely talented snowboarder.
David Fleming, President and CEO of Donate Life America, is a native of Richmond, Virginia where he still lives with his wife Tera and his two children, Aidan and Audrey. He is a graduate of the College of William & Mary where he earned degrees in accounting, marketing and religious studies. He continued his studies with graduate work at the University of North Carolina.
David began his professional career with KPMG Peat Marwick as an auditor in the firm’s international business practice. Since that time, he has worked with organizations ranging from sports marketing companies to futures’ fund management firms. Prior to joining Donate Life America 15 years ago, he served as a director of marketing for what is now PriceWaterhouseCoopers, the world’s largest public accounting and professional services firm.
David is currently the president and chief executive officer of Donate Life America. Donate Life America is a national not-for-profit corporation that’s core mission is to increase organ, eye and tissue donation in the United States. Donate Life America consists of national members and state-based teams focused on solving the national healthcare crisis presented by the lack of available organs and tissue for lifesaving transplants. A hallmark of the organization’s work is its national Donor Designation Collaborative that has resulted in registering 110 million US residents as organ, eye and tissue donors.
In addition to his professional activities, David works with youth in a variety of capacities including coaching track and field and soccer. He is an active member of several nonprofit boards in Richmond and works with a number of international nonprofits on issues of social justice.
However, I’m pretty sure that you would MUCH rather listen to our interview and not read it, wouldn’t you? I thought so.
For those of you who aren’t able to listen to the interview right away, here are some quick facts for you.
115,00 – The number of individuals in the USA who are currently on the waitlist for organs
10 – the amount of minutes before another name is added to the waitlist
18 – the number of people on the current waitlist that die before being matched with a donor
1 – the amount of people standing between you and becoming a donor.
While I do not dare consider myself a professional interviewer, it was pretty neat to ask both of these gentlemen about their passion behind organ donation and get a little peek into what drives them to do the work that they do.
Becoming a donor is super easy to do. Either go to www.donatelife.net and register to become a donor, OR make that long wait at the DMV worth something and become a donor there. Believe me, it doesn’t take long and you’ll feel like a superhero for doing it, or at least I did.
I do know that after this interview I am even more honored to be part of a family that believes in organ donation (Mr. Houseful and I have been donors for years now.) I also love that through our loss (the murder of my uncle in 2011) my uncle was able to help other families hold on to their loved ones much longer than we were able to.
So, tell me, are you an organ donor? If not, what are you waiting for?