Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Four Years and Counting

Well, let's face it. I have done an awful job at posting updates. Somehow life takes over and weeks turn into months and months turn into years. Today marks the 4th anniversary of Dad's transplant. I am not sure anyone can believe that four years have gone by.

Dad has been in good health this last year. Most folks would never know he was on death's door four years ago. As the memories of what life was like before the transplant slowly fall into the more distant past, we sometimes forget how fragile Dad was back then.

This picture was taken last weekend. Doesn't everyone look great?

We rarely think about or talk about Dad's transplant without acknowledging the person that gave our Dad the ultimate gift, Mr. Roy Heck III. Yesterday, today and always we will cherish the memory of Roy and ask God to wrap his family in his love.

On this day four years ago Mike experienced a re-birth. He went into surgery with a weak heart and a frail body. He emerged with a strong heart and a new bond; forever linking him to the man that saved his life. Happy Birthday, Dad.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

2014 Transplant Games of America

Houston has been awarded the 2014 Transplant Games of America!!

On Wednesday, December 19, 2012, officials from the Transplant Games of America (TGA) announced the City of Houston has been awarded the 2014 Transplant Games. The multi-sport festival will attract organ, tissue, and bone marrow transplant recipients, living donors, and donor families from across the country.

The successful bid was submitted by the Harris County - Houston Sports Authority, who will manage the games under the auspices of the TGA. The Transplant Games will take place July 10-15, 2014, utilizing BBVA Compass Stadium, the George R. Brown Convention Center, and various other facilities throughout the City of Houston.

Bill Ryan, President and CEO of the Transplant Games of America stated, “Houston won out over a number of exceptional communities for a variety of reasons. The Sports Authority bid clearly demonstrated an overwhelming commitment to the rich history of the Transplant Games and the cause of organ donation and transplantation.” Ryan added, “The local medical community played a great role in the selection of Houston for the Transplant Games and the leadership and professionalism of the nationally recognized Harris County - Houston Sports Authority created an unmatched excitement in bringing the games to this community.”

Expecting in excess of 2,000 athletes, sporting events include a 5K run, badminton, basketball, bowling, cycling, golf, racquetball, swimming, table tennis, tennis, and track and field. “I can’t wait for Houston to host the Games,” said Brian Gilliam, a Houston transplant recipient and athlete. “We will have a large number of Living Donors and Donor Families attend since the games are in Houston and they are reason that we compete!”

Aside from the sporting competition which will take place over four days, the event will include a spectacular opening and closing ceremonies and a series of tributes to many of the heroes of organ donation. Athletes and their families, donor families, and thousands of supporters will gather at Athletes Village to help deliver the important message that organ, eye and tissue donation saves lives.

According to Donate Life America, as of July 2012, there are 114,712 individuals in the United States awaiting a life-saving organ, and 1,737 are pediatric patients. Last year there were 28,535 organs transplanted from 14,144 donors.

In Texas alone, 11,000 men, women and children are waiting for a lifesaving transplant; more than 3,000 are from the greater Houston area. Donate Life Texas, which is the official database of Texans authorized to be organ, eye and tissue donors upon their deaths, reports that number stands at approximately 3 million registrants. The more registered donors there are, the greater the chance of finding matches for people in need. “We’ve made great progress with our state registry, especially lately with the assistance of the Department of Public Safety, but there is much more work to be done,” said Sam Holtzman, President and CEO of LifeGift, the local agency that recovers organs and tissues for 109 Texas counties and a member of Donate Life Texas. “Our hope is that bringing the Transplant Games of America to Houston will bring much awareness to the critical need for registered organ, eye and tissue donors not only in Houston, but across the State of Texas, as well.”

The Transplant Games of America® is a 501(c)(3) non-profit whose mission is to promote organ, eye, and tissue donation, as well as to bring awareness to the tremendous advances in the field of transplantation and in the development of immuno-suppressant drugs in the pharmaceutical industry.

Life Goes On

It has been way too long since I have posted an update. There have been birthdays and holidays, good days and bad days, but most of all, there have been many blessed days. Dad continues to get stronger. He has almost returned to all of his old hobbies - working on the house, little projects here and there and spending time with his grandkids. He still has to take it easy, but is mostly free to do the things that make him happy.

Monday, September 3, 2012

LifeGift ABC News Story

Click here to read the ABC News Story about my dad and his heart donor.

LifeGift is celebrating its silver anniversary in 2012. Throughout its 25-year history, LifeGift has helped restore the lives of thousands through organ and tissue donation. For more information, visit <a href></a>

Congratulations to LifeGift for 25 years of changing lives through organ and tissue donation advocay.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Saturday, July 28, 2012

2012 Transplant Games of America

Yesterday Mom and Dad left on an amazing journey. They are in Michigan competing and volunteering at the 2012 Transplant Games of America. My Dad, who received a new heart in April of 2010, will be an Olympian in several track and field events and bowling. Life has been so good to my dad and this family since his transplant. Before he received his new heart, even getting on an airplane and flying wouldn't have been possible, yet alone taking part in a sporting event! We are blessed.

Mom is also there representing Texas Children's Hospital and some of the renal patients. This morning mom did a 5K walk and tonight is the Opening Ceremonies. Mom and Dad, we are so proud of both of you.

During such an important event during my Dad's life, we will all take a moment to thank Roy and his family for their Gift of Life. I know Roy is watching over my dad during his Olympic debut.

Go Team Texas!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day

Today is a a day to honor all of the strong and wonderful men, husband's and father's in our lives. The men who we would be lost without. Happy Father's Dad, Dad. We love you.