Stories of Hope

See how organ, eye and tissue donation has healed lives.

Makenzie, tissue recipient

An ACL tear from a sports injury during her freshman year of high school left Makenzie in constant pain, and severely impacted her life both on and off the playing field. Donated tissue made it possible for her to stay dedicated to her active, healthy lifestyle and to achieve her dream of becoming captain of her field hockey team.

Tissue Recipient - Makenzie (Field Hockey)Tissue Recipient - Makenzie (Rose Parade)

Donor Tissue Helps Makenzie Resume Active Lifestyle

Working out and staying healthy have always been two of Makenzie’s passions. A natural athlete, Makenzie made both the field hockey and softball teams her freshman year of high school. When she was not playing organized sports, Makenzie was active in other ways: running, hiking, swimming, participating in school clubs, hanging out with friends and spending quality time with her parents and older brother. She never imagined a life without sports, but everything was about to change.

Makenzie was 14 years old and just finishing her first 5k race when she hyperextended her knee. Because the initial soreness she experienced did not seem to indicate a serious injury, Makenzie continued to play sports and work out regularly over the next few months. She soon found, however, that a terrible pain developed that was constantly there whenever she was moving — on or off the playing field. Her doctor performed exploratory surgery during her sophomore year with shocking results: Makenzie’s ACL was 98% torn. Because of a donor’s gift, her doctor was able to immediately perform a tissue transplant to help Makenzie begin her return to fully participating in life again.

Donor tissue made it possible for Makenzie to resume the healthy lifestyle that she loves and to continue to excel in sports. Not only did Makenzie play field hockey again, she also achieved her big dream of becoming team captain. Makenzie treasures her donor’s gift as the greatest she has ever received. Without it, she knows that her life would never have been same, and she strives each day to honor the person who gave her the opportunity to live her life to the fullest.

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