"I don't know who my donor is but all I can say is thank you. I'm alive because of you. Thank you."
In 2016, Jacques Smith, Program Manager of Black American Council of Cuyahoga Community College, wasn’t feeling his best. He had brushed off symptoms of declining health for years until his son confronted him. With concern, his son said to Jacques “Dad, your eyes look like eggs!” He was referring to the jaundice, that had taken over the white area of Jacques’ eyes.
Jacques knew he had to do something and after going to a specialist, he was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease that causes progressive destruction of bowel ducts leading to the liver. Jacques was shocked by the diagnosis as he led a very healthy and active lifestyle. After multiple failed surgeries, Jacques was officially in need of a new liver and was added to the national transplant waiting list. He waited for two years before he was matched with a donor and received his life-saving liver transplant.
Jacques’ story reinforces the importance of registering as an organ, eye, and tissue donor. For some, waiting isn’t an option and Jacques works with Lifebanc to help spread the importance of making a donation decision and sharing it with your family.