Delaware resident Bill Murray, 54, has been waiting for a kidney transplant for the past three years. He is a father of three, and used to own his own plumbing business for more than 20 years. Before his illness, he was physically active, refereeing softball and basketball regularly. He used to love to travel and had energy to do what he loved most – spend time with his family.
Since being diagnosed with kidney failure, his life has drastically changed. He had to give up his business and now spends much of his time on home dialysis, 7 days a week, three and a half hours a day. He is hopeful that he will receive the gift of life and is a passionate advocate for organ donation. Although his energy level is very low, he still volunteers with Gift of Life Donor Program, speaking about donation and working at tabling events throughout DE, where he has an opportunity to make an impact and share his story.
“When I tell people my story, it makes a difference.” Bill said. “There are a lot of misconceptions that keep people from registering, and when they see me and hear what I’ve been through, it changes their minds. So many people are waiting for a second chance. They are really sick and struggling. It’s important for me to make sure others understand how much they can help. Educating people about donation is my life-long journey.” he said.
Currently, more than 120,000 people are waiting nationally – and over 500 of them are Delaware residents. Bill is a part of that group, and looks forward to getting his life back. He said, “I can’t wait for the day when my life can get back to normal. I want to receive a kidney transplant, build up my strength and get back to work. I want to get off dialysis and not feel like a burden to people.”
Everyone has the power to make a change by registering as an organ and tissue donor at donors1.org and supporting local events like the DE Donor Dash. On Saturday, August 6th, Gift of Life, along with Christiana Care Health System, Nemours Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children and the Delaware Organ and Tissue Donor Awareness Board will host the 3rd Annual Delaware Donor Dash to raise funding for educational initiatives throughout Delaware. The 5K run/3K walk will take place at the Wilmington Waterfront at 8:30 AM (run) and 8:45 AM (walk). On-site registration opens at 7:30 AM. Community education and events – like the Delaware Donor Dash – play an essential role in highlighting the importance of registering as an organ and tissue donor. Visit dedonordash.org for more information and to sign up. Registration is $25.
Bill will be at the DE Donor Dash again this year, volunteering and walking in support of donation and in honor of his girlfriend, Lynda Snellings, who passed away this year. Lynda had heart issues and was going through the process of being added to the organ transplant waitlist for a new heart. “This year, the DE Dash has a new meaning for me. I’m trying to form the biggest team and raise at least $1,000 in honor of Lynda. She was a great support for me. We were always there for each other and were together for four years. It’s been a very tough year.” said Bill.
By saying “yes” to donation, you can help put an end to the critical shortage of registered organ and tissue donors – and ultimately save lives. It only takes 30 seconds to become a registered donor at donors1.org.
Click here to register for the 2016 Delaware Donor Dash.