Jessie’s Story Jessie Starnes, Organ & Tissue Donor, 2008 Written by Lisa Rousseau, Jessie’s Mother Jessie Anna Starnes was the kind of child that you could just see the love come out of her when she smiled. She knew when someone needed an extra hug. She was so giving and loving to everyone. Jessie was

Emily Picco

THE PICCO FAMILY Emily Susanne Picco’s Story (as told in the words of her family) Someone once said, “If you’re born red, you’d better be born good, because there is no way you’ll ever be anonymous.” Upon first meeting our little red head, Emily, one might think she was quite a shy little girl. On

Gabby Preap

Social Butterfly’s “Big Heart” Allowed Valentine’s Day Celebration Twenty-three-year-old heart transplant recipient, Gabby Preap, celebrated Valentine’s day with her donor family, Michelle, Dave and Brittany Campbell, by visiting healthcare providers who helped make the donation possible. Nineteen-year-old Cassie Campbell became an organ donor, on April 18, 2011, following an accidental overdose of prescribed medications. Because

Winnie Bender

The year was 1970. Liver transplants were still in the experimental stage. Winnie Bender had a recurring disease where her own body was attacking her liver. She was told she would need a liver transplant within five years to survive. But, it wasn’t until twenty years later, in 1990, that Winnie’s liver finally gave out.

Tiffany Ellison

Mrs. California, Tiffany Ellison of Folsom, believes dreams do come true. As she heads to the Mrs. America competition in Tuscon, Arizona on September 2, she holds fast to her belief that she will be crowned and her 10-year-old son, Connor will be healthy again. Connor was born with a deadly liver disease – congenital

Don Phillips

The Phillips’ Story In 1992, Don and Cindy never imagined life could be better. Everything was going well; they were healthy, young, active and in-love. But by 1998, Don began coughing and feeling sick. One of his daily regimes was jogging to the car every time he would leave his building at work. Soon his

Tony and Sylvia Dinozo

Sylvia Dinozo, a 44-year-old mother of two, suffers from end stage kidney disease and needs a life-saving transplant. In June of 2002, Sylvia began experiencing health problems which forced her to quit her two jobs – one at Sutter Davis Hospital and the other as a cosmetologist. Sylvia started dialysis in August. “My sincerest wish


“If someone had told me ten years ago that I would now be dancing through life – I wouldn’t have believed it. After suffering complete kidney failure, I was placed on dialysis and then the national transplant waiting list. I waited five long years for a second chance, but it came, because a donor and


Sara received a heart at age five weeks at Loma Linda University Medical Center. She was the 85th baby under six months of age to receive a heart transplant. This is her story in her words: My mom was seven months pregnant with me when doctors detected that my heart rate was only 60, instead

Michael Doughty

In October 1992, my 42-year-old husband, Michael, suffered a heart attack so severe we found he required a heart transplant. We were told that without a transplant, he would not live to see our 2-1/2 year old daughter and 11-year-old son grow up. At the time, the average wait for a heart was nine months.