Organ transplants turn four strangers into family

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Four New Mexicans who have been deeply impacted by organ donation are now making it their mission to help others get the life-saving transplants they need. 

They have one vital thing in common. “I’m the recipient of a liver and a kidney,” said Robert Golding. 

Feliz, Robert, Cathy and Evelyn have all been impacted by a life-saving organ transplant. “Before I received my liver and kidney, I was about two weeks away from death,” said Robert. It gave them or someone they know, a second chance at life. 

“Because of organ donation I got an extra four years with my dad,” said Feliz Munoz, a volunteer at Organ Transplant Awareness Program of New Mexico

Evelyn says before she received her liver, her suffering had become so severe. “I was so miserable I would have rather died at that point,” said Evelyn. Then she got the call she had been waiting for eighteen months. 

“I’ve been so excited to be alive,” said Evelyn. 

Now, this quartet is helping raise awareness for organ donation, by volunteering with New Mexico Organ Transplant Awareness Program. Sunday, they hosted the 5K Transplant Awareness Trek at an Albuquerque Park. 

“It’s just my way of paying back, for me there’s really no way you can pay back getting a second chance at life,” said Cathy Walters a heart transplant recipient. 

The organization is taking these complete strangers, and turning them into my family. There are nearly eight hundred people in New Mexico waiting for an organ transplant. The typical wait time for a kidney is five years. 

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