My Celebration of Life
Please meet President Dave Rodgers who received a liver transplant in 2002 and continues to pay the Gift Of Life forward.
My journey with transplantation started when I became jaundiced and fatigued working as a corporate executive. My work week had to be reduced to forty hours a week from sixty. Upon being admitted into the hospital, it was determined that my liver was dying, which was later confirmed through testing. I was put on the transplant list and quickly moved to the top of the list. Over the next four weeks, my kidney shut down, I went on dialysis, stayed alive via a regiment of 35 pills twice a day, was confined to bed, and had three proposed cadaver livers rejected. Finally, the fourth liver was a match and I received my liver transplant. My kidneys started working within a couple of days and my new life as a liver transplant patient began.
This was all possible, due to my 27-year-old donor Scott, who died of a brain aneurism. Scott is my hero. It took 9 1/2 years to make contact with my donor’s mom and we have met the last two years to discuss My Celebration of Life and what Scott did as a donor and as a person.
It all comes down to volunteering, paying it forward for the next person and honoring my donor Scott.
Here is what Scott’s gift has done for me:
Walked my oldest daughter down the aisle, saw the birth of my two grandchildren, my younger daughter open her own business and my youngest son become a teacher and pursue a second career in administration. My likes are camping and fishing, classic cars, football (just attended my 42nd reunion) and traveling. Oh, I almost forgot babysitting my grandkids, the best job in the world; I always find energy and make time for that.
Upon my successful recovery, I realized that I needed to give something back, pay it forward for the next person and pay honor to Scott for the Gift of Life. In 2003 I joined the American Liver Foundation and began raising money for the ALF Walks. I just completed my 11th year of walking and fundraising. I also serve on the Executive Board of the ALF- NY Chapter and am a Delegate to the ALF National Board. Later in 2003 I joined LI TRIO, to learn more about transplantation, organ donation and post-transplant life. I have participated in the school talk programs, Rose Garden Ceremony and many other activities, and have served on the LI TRIO Board of Directors since 2006. Every day I try to do something that makes the Gift of Life a rewarding day and to pay respect to my donor and his family.