‘Be the Gift’ campaign spotlights organ donors

JACKSON, Tenn. — One organization needs your help to save lives, and it all starts with a big, red bow.

“I like to say it was the longest, shortest journey to transplant,” Cindy Vaughn, a heart recipient, said.

Vaughn had a massive heart attack 18 years ago, two weeks after giving birth. She was placed on the transplant list in December 2016 and got a new heart the next month.

“When I say it’s given me my life back, it’s literally given me a life,” Vaughn said.

Tennessee Donor Services needs your help to give more people a second chance at life.

“Over 113,000 people are on the national waiting list,” said Wanda Stanfill, PR coordinator for Tennessee Donor Services. “These are individuals who are in urgent need to have an organ transplant,” Wanda Stanfill, PR Coordinator for Tennessee Donor Services, said.

Of those people. 3,000 are right here in Tennessee.

The “Be the Gift” campaign is about spotlighting the donors.

Organizers say because donors are giving the gift of life, they can receive a bow online after registering to donate.

“One organ donor can save the lives of up to eight people, and one tissue donor can improve the lives of up to 50 people,” Stanfill said.

Vaughn got a letter last April from the family of the man whose heart she now has. “I know this would make Lou so happy,” Vaugn read from the letter. “He was such a happy person and just wanted to see people smile.”

For more information on Be the Gift and how you can get your own red bow, visit bethegifttoday.com.

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