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HEALTHWATCH: Organ donation program
Eighteen people die each day in the US, waiting for an organ donation.
April is National "Donate Life" month.
A woman who has made it her mission to get folks to "Recycle" themselves
Cerena Williams says her late brother Bryan Herrington was a great husband, dad, church deacon, tee ball coach, a gentle and kind man who is still uniting folks, a decade after his death.
Bryan slipped off of a roof and suffered a massive head injury. With no brain activity detected, his family followed his often voiced wish to donate his organs.
Bryan's heart, lungs, pancreas and kidneys were transplanted.
(("I can't imagine how it would have been with out, because it was such a huge part to help and a good focus."))
Within a week -- Bryan's family was told of the successful transplants, four people's lives were saved.
A year later, three of the four recipients sent letters, pouring out gratitude and prayers.
(("I think it is so much more healing, a lot of healing."))
So touched by the letters, Cerena reached out, hoping to meet. Mary-Jo -- the Nebraska mother who received Bryan's lungs and Jeff, a Florida man who has Bryan's left kidney and pancreas, were eager.
Barbecues, ball games, road trips ensued and Cerena says her family expanded to include theirs.
She even arranged an impromptu visit between recipients.
(("I called him and said, 'Hey, do you want to meet the other recipients? So they met on the side of the interstate and I have a picture of them together."))
(("Over one hundred twenty-one thousand people in the U S waiting for a transplant and over five thousand of them live in Florida."))
Jane Stearns works with Life Quest Organ Recovery Services.
She says Cerena's been a tireless advocate since Bryan's death.
Stearns says stories like Cerena's especially touch teens and young adults.
(("Absolutely, we're really seeing a trend across the nation that young people are getting engaged and the tide is turning, young people are very, very engaged."))
Some of Bryan's children have met his recipients keeping his memory and legacy alive.
(("It helped us talk a lot more and his children were so young that the more they meet these people they understood how important their father was."))
Cerena volunteers at registry booths, signing up as many people as she can.
(("He would expect it of me, probably. Oh yea, that's my sister, but I think he'd be humbled."))
In addition to the four organ recipients, ten people benefited from Bryan's tissue donation as well.
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