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Harrisburg Man Receives Gift of Life

Life had always been a challenge for Harrisburg native, Daniel Snowden.  He was born with renal disease, and his kidney function continued to deteriorate throughout his life.  Although he had a corrective surgery, his kidneys continued to suffer and ultimately he was listed on the organ transplant waitlist in 1990.

He had always strived to stay active and participate in sports, running cross country and doing track and field before he became too ill.  He was able to finish college and begin working at the Southeast Region’s Department of Environmental Protection.

He remained optimistic during his waiting and understood that many people wait years before an available organ is available for transplant.  The need is great and often the wait is long for individuals who are very ill.  Currently, 6,000 people in Gift of Life’s region – eastern PA, southern NJ and DE – are awaiting a life-saving organ transplant, and minorities are the group that is affected the most. 

Sun -- Track and Field  004National Minority Donor Awareness Week, held August 1-7, honors the generosity of multicultural donors and their families, while also underscoring the critical need for minority communities to register as potential organ and tissue donors. Nationally, minority communities represent 25% of the population, but represent a startling 58% and more of those waiting on a life-saving transplant. In Gift of Life’s region, more than 50% of those waiting for a kidney transplant are minority.  Gift of Life believes this week is an important platform to build upon because lack of education is crippling minority communities.

After two years of waiting, illness and dialysis, Daniel received the call of a lifetime – a generous donor said “yes” to donation and he was going to get a second chance at life.  He speaks of his gratitude for his donor and is happy to be active again and get his life back.

Shortly after receiving his transplant, Daniel began participating in the Donate Life Transplant Games of America.  He played volleyball, basketball, bowled and did track and field.  “I am just so grateful for the unselfishness of my donor’s monumental decision.  I’m one of the many people that my donor helped.” he said.

He’s happy that he can visit his niece and nephew in Florida and keep up with them again.  He can interact with them now that he is no longer sick and exhausSat Hosp Groups --  014ted and can enjoy his life without disease.  “I think it’s so important for people to discuss their wishes with their family members.  Talk to your family about organ donation and what you want, so no one is left in the dark.” he said.

Daniel said, “There is such a need – in the minority community especially – for people who are waiting for a transplant.  We need to step up to the plate and meet this need.”

To further spread the word about donation in the minority community, Gift of Life will celebrate National Minority Donor Awareness Week the first week of August.  The week honors donors who gave the gift of life and helps to increase awareness about the critical need to register more people as organ and tissue donors.

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