The Marathoner

Recipient: Tracy

Donor: Samantha

Organ: Heart

Artist: Zach Johnsen

Tracy was only 15 years old when her mother passed away.

She understood that her mom was a hero for her cornea and kidney donations, but Tracy never imagined organ donation would play such a critical role in her own life.

Tracy was only 15 years old when her mother passed away.

She understood that her mom was a hero for her cornea and kidney donations, but Tracy never imagined organ donation would play such a critical role in her own life.

Tracy grew up a happy and active girl. She finished school and married her husband Derrick before settling down in Portland. She always loved running and couldn’t sit still for long. That all changed with a sudden diagnosis of cardiomyopathy.

Tracy grew up a happy and active girl. She finished school and married her husband Derrick before settling down in Portland. She always loved running and couldn’t sit still for long. That all changed with a sudden diagnosis of cardiomyopathy.

As she was added to the waitlist for a new heart, she was reminded of her mom’s gift. “I knew that a family would have to lose someone in order for me to survive.”

As she was added to the waitlist for a new heart, she was reminded of her mom’s gift. “I knew that a family would have to lose someone in order for me to survive.”

Tracy’s selfless heart donor, Samantha, was a mother too.

Samantha loved her children, when she wasn’t with her kids you could usually find her fixing up vintage cars with her brothers.

Tracy’s selfless heart donor, Samantha, was a mother too.

Samantha loved her children, when she wasn’t with her kids you could usually find her fixing up vintage cars with her brothers.

After Tracy’s heart transplant, her doctors told her having children might not be possible. But being the headstrong woman she was, she gave birth to her healthy baby boy Trent 9 months after her heart transplant.

After Tracy’s heart transplant, her doctors told her having children might not be possible. But being the headstrong woman she was, she gave birth to her healthy baby boy Trent 9 months after her heart transplant.

Years later, Tracy experienced more heart troubles that required a second heart and kidney transplant.

She was bedridden for an extended period of time but everyday was reminded how fortunate she was to be mother to her son. Her family gave her all the strength she needed.

Years later, Tracy experienced more heart troubles that required a second heart and kidney transplant.

She was bedridden for an extended period of time but everyday was reminded how fortunate she was to be mother to her son. Her family gave her all the strength she needed.

Being stuck in bed was simply not her style. She wanted to be up and about, helping her father solve jigsaw puzzles, cheering her young son on at baseball games, and savoring every bit of life that she could. This drive pushed her to get stronger. As her health improved she became more grateful—not only the gift of her life, but also for the gift of motherhood.

Being stuck in bed was simply not her style. She wanted to be up and about, helping her father solve jigsaw puzzles, cheering her young son on at baseball games, and savoring every bit of life that she could. This drive pushed her to get stronger. As her health improved she became more grateful—not only the gift of her life, but also for the gift of motherhood.

Today Tracy lives life to the fullest. She’s completed half marathons, 5 and 10ks, and never takes a moment for granted.

Tracy’s family volunteers with Donate Life often, she’s even spoken at high schools to connect her story to the lives of young people.

Today Tracy lives life to the fullest. She’s completed half marathons, 5 and 10ks, and never takes a moment for granted.

Tracy’s family volunteers with Donate Life often, she’s even spoken at high schools to connect her story to the lives of young people.

Even during the hardest marathons, or most trying days, Tracy expresses her gratitude to Samantha in one way or another. Her heart fills with joy every time she laces up her shoes, grateful for the women who inspire her to move forward.

Even during the hardest marathons, or most trying days, Tracy expresses her gratitude to Samantha in one way or another. Her heart fills with joy every time she laces up her shoes, grateful for the women who inspire her to move forward.

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