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Life Center Celebrates Organ Donors and Recipients
CINCINNATI (Rich Jaffe) -- 18 times a day, someone in this country dies, waiting for an organ transplant.
As grim as that sounds there are also many living success stories out there. A group of those success stories gathered this morning to celebrate the gift of life. Local 12 News Reporter Rich Jaffe was a guest at this very emotional event.
It was the 11th annual community breakfast celebrating the power of "Yes."
Yes, to being an organ donor. Yes, to saving lives.
Rich Jaffe's connection to this is Asia Werner. He met Asia shortly after she was born, in desperate need of a heart transplant. One of the lucky ones, she got the gift of life.
For Asia and the other folks here, this event, this issue, is a big deal.
Asia says, "There's a lot of people who don't think that organ donation and stuff like that is a big deal. They just think it's a little thing. They just need to see other parents, other kids that understand the same things. It's good to have people together that get the same things."
Thursday we heard from people like Ril Beatty, who's alive now thanks to a liver transplant.
And there wasn't a dry eye in the house after listening to Jerry Judd, who's daughter, Morgan, donated her organs last December. She saved the lives of five other people.
Andrea O'Malley of the Life Center tells Local 12, "As we're nearing the Thanksgiving holiday and we're thankful and showing gratitude this event is about doing just that. Thanking the people who gave the gift of life as donors and then the people who received the gift of life as recipients, being thankful they've had that second chance."
Just a month away from her 14th birthday, life for Asia's about as normal as it can be for any teenager. In fact Thursday Rich Jaffe found out she has a boyfriend!
Noah's actually been her guy since the 3rd grade. He joined Asia's friends and family as everyone celebrated, cried, and shared a special gift. A gift of time marked by this years new life calendar.
It's Asia's second appearance. Her message for others?
"The hospital can be hard, like IV's and all that is gross but once it's over it's really worth it because I'm just a normal kid...like nothing ever happened you know."
Like nothing ever happened. Rich Jaffe, Local 12 News.
This is Asia's second appearance in the calendar. This time she's Miss December 2014.
For more information about organ donation or the Life Center click HERE.