LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — More than 100,000 Americans are currently waiting for a second chance at life on the organ transplant list, and over 600 of them live in Nevada. Hundreds of Nevadans marched at the 6th annual Hope Glows walk on Saturday to cap off Donate Life month. The event aims to encourage more Nevadans to become organ donors.
For Brienna Love, the walk was personal because her entire life changed at 11 years old.
“In July of 2016 I was diagnosed with heart failure my heart was beating at 20% when they checked and they said that you need a heart transplant and you have a week,” she said. “It was very scary because I had no idea what that was. I was 11 at the time. I had come back from a summer of riding roller coasters and all of sudden you are being told that’s the end.”
Luckily, she is here today thanks to an organ donation and she and others walked in this “Hope Glows” event to encourage others to become organ donors.
The Nevada Donor Network said there’s a large need for organ donations, especially among minority communities, and each donation can have a huge impact.
“One organ donor can save the life of eight others and one tissue donor can heal the life of more than 75 people,” Adiana Connelly of the Nevada Donor Network explained.
Stories like Love’s were numerous among the crowd and she said she is looking forward to graduating high school and going to UNLV next year. Her goal is to inspire more organ donors.
“I’m living proof that it’s successful, that it works, and that I’m not afraid to do anything and I’m just going to live life to the fullest,” Love said.
Heart transplants like hers don’t last a lifetime and Love will need another heart in about 30 years when she reaches her 40s.
To find out more about organ donations and becoming a donor, click here.