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