Currently, 103,356 men, women and children are awaiting organ transplants from living or deceased donors in the United States. Every eight minutes another name is added to the national organ transplant waiting list. New Jersey native, Cameron Wohl – who was living with primary sclerosing cholangitis, a rare and life-threatening autoimmune disease impacting the liver – was added to the list just over a decade ago.
After exploring the option of living donor transplantation, Cameron’s older brother (by three-years-to-the-day), Jared, was found to be a match and successfully donated 65 percent of his liver on February 11, 2014. What many are surprised to discover is that the liver has a unique capacity to regenerate itself after damage and can regrow to a normal size, even after up to 90 percent of it has been removed.
Their 10-year-transplant-anniversary is quickly approaching, but they will also be celebrating two other occasions in February with their families (Jared is now the father of two little boys, and Cameron just welcomed his first child). February 14th isn’t just Valentine’s Day, it’s also National Donor Day – dedicated to spreading awareness and education about organ, eye and tissue donation.
While it is timely to cover the topic of organ donation (including the lesser-known option of living donor transplantation), Jared and Cameron’s story is also a timeless reminder of compassion and giving, and the power the donation and transplant community has to save lives. The first step, a fast and simple one, is increasing the number of registered organ and tissue donors in the US.
Today, thanks to receiving 65 percent of Jared’s liver, Cameron is enjoying good health. He was inspired to change careers and successfully pursued a degree in Nursing following his transplant.
A press release can be accessed here for your reference.