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About meI was born and raised in Colorado, in the Golden area. We love being so close to the mountains. I love winter. We have sledding trips every year for the family.I had a friend who passed away from liver cancer. We learned that when he first started having problems if he’d gone to the doctor, things might have turned out different. So I made a promise that, even though I was hardly ever sick, I’d go get a physical.In 2006, I went and got a physical and learned that I’d had Hepatitis C for over 30 years and didn’t know it. It had already destroyed and scarred my liver, and I had stage 3 cirrhosis. We tried to clear the Hepatitis with the drugs they had at that time, but it didn’t work. I ended up getting end stage liver disease. They said I had two months left to live.The first time my doctor presented my case to the transplant board, I was turned down. They said I was too sick, and I wouldn’t be able to make it through surgery. My doctor and my wife fought for me; if they wouldn’t have, I wouldn’t be here. My wife is an amazing woman.One day, (in 2011) we got the call: they had a match. I was pretty sick, so I didn’t really get it. But everybody else was excited for me. About a year after the transplant, I was placed into a trial for one of the new medicines to clear Hepatitis C. It worked.Celebrating my birthday with the Donor DashThe Donor Dash, at Washington Park in Denver, is Sunday, July 16th, which falls on my 60th birthday. The Donor Dash is a 5K event that is for runners or walkers, they even have a diaper dash, to celebrate the people who have gone through donation and are alive today because of it. It’s a time to honor those who have given and those who registered.Our team for the Donor Dash is named The Unknown Donors. Our son passed away in 2009 from a brain aneurism. He was a registered donor, but because they couldn’t confirm the time of death, he was unable to donate. There are thousands of people who register as donors who cannot donate. We represent all those who aren’t able to donate, but wanted that wish to come true. I don’t know who my donor was. I’ve written a letter to her family expressing my gratitude and thanks as best I can. I walk in her honor.I also help with the transplantation science program that the Donor Alliance has. It’s a program that goes out into the high schools and middle schools and teaches the students about different organs, transplantations, and bone transplants. They also take plasticized organs with them, and the students can see and touch the organs that are inside the human body.A fun thing to know about me...We have three Saint Bernards (named Ed, Sheba and Sandy). When they were growing, they’d go through two 35 pound bags of dog food in a week and a half. They are all from the same litter. We went to a pet store and there were two Saint Bernards there, and they were just really cute. My wife said, “Can we get two?” Then they bring this other one that was in the back, and my wife goes, “Oh, can we get three?” So I said, “Will you make us a deal on three?”I have to take Ed out at night. People have a tendency to run out of their houses to come see him and cars start slowing down. He’s 225 pounds.
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