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Recipient Stories

Living My Dream

ABOVE: The Columbus Crew’s Bernardo Añor signs the shirt of heart recipient, Ian Sanchez

(leer en español)

Growing up in Venezuela, I played soccer all my life.  I never imagined that my dream of playing professionally might not come true.

During the seventh match of my sophomore season at the University of South Florida, I was kicked from behind.  It was the most painful experience of my life and I thought my career was over.  When I learned that I had torn my ACL, I was devastated.

My doctor gave me hope when he told me a tissue transplant could repair my ACL and reduce my recovery and rehabilitation time.  Thanks to a tissue donor, I underwent the surgery.  My family and friends were so supportive during my  rehab and I was soon back to playing the game I love for USF Bulls.

In January 2011, my dreams were realized when I was drafted by the Columbus Crew as a midfielder.  Today my soccer journey continues and I am really thankful that I was able to receive my transplant. Now, every time I take the field it is a tribute to my donor and the generosity of all tissue donors.

I’m a registered organ and tissue donor and I hope that others will sign up too.  By registering, you have the potential to make the same kind of difference my donor made for me: you can make dreams come true.

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