Cincinnati College Of Law Student Donates Liver To 3-Year-Old Child In Need

Meet Shannon Black and Curtis Binkley. Shannon is a second-year law student at UC College of Law, focusing on criminal law, and Curtis is a three-year-old who loves Bluey and Toy Story. On the surface, these two don’t have a lot in common, but it’s what’s on the inside that bonds them together forever.

Shannon’s live organ donation journey started when her cousin needed a liver transplant. She wasn’t able to donate to her cousin, but still felt that calling. “I already knew that I was approved, I knew I could do this, I knew I could give this gift to someone else,” Shannon said.

Curtis’s health struggles started early in his young life. In 2022, he was diagnosed with a rare childhood blood cancer, which scarred his liver. He was put on the transplant list in January 2023. For months, the family waited for good news, sometimes looking for hope and belief in unexpected places. Curtis had a special attachment to two little bears, one saying “Hope” and the other “Believe.”

Hope and belief turned to joy and relief when the family got a phone call that a perfect match had been found. “It’s just like we were hoping and praying that this day would come,” Curtis’s family recalled. “When it finally did, we were just so excited.”

On Halloween, Shannon and Curtis both underwent surgery, with the bears looking over Curtis as Shannon’s liver was transplanted. “Nothing can describe the way that you feel when you wake up and you know that somebody now is going to have a second chance at life, especially for me, like a little kid is going to have that second chance,” Shannon shared.

Both Shannon and Curtis are thriving. They met for the first time on Valentine’s Day and are now sharing the importance of people answering the call to be living donors. Curtis’s mom joked that since the transplant, Curtis has been like the Tasmanian Devil, asking Shannon if she drank coffee.

The two are planning future meet-ups and continue to be living examples of the impact of living organ donation.

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