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Real stories about what is possible when you #SayYES.

Alexandria mom and gold medalist returns to the US Transplant Games

May 2, 2018

Three years ago, as Mother’s Day approached, Lea Dozier was having trouble just getting through the day. At 36, the mother of two had failing kidneys so she spent four hours a day, three days a week in dialysis, in between her days at work. “It was tough for my children, seeing their mommy going…

Laure Jean-Richard is a nurse at INOVA hospital.

A recovery nurse in recovery

April 16, 2018

As a post-anesthesia nurse, Laure Jean-Richard has helped her fair share of transplant recipients recover. And for years, she knew that some day, she’d be on the table herself. Laure was diagnosed with lupus at age 26, and her medical experience made her fully aware of how the autoimmune disease progressed. She prepared herself for…

Waiting on a Rainbow: Virginia Heart Recipients Inspire National Campaign

April 5, 2018

The rainbow has been a symbol of hope for organ and tissue donation recipients at Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters (CHKD) for decades. Perhaps it’s because of a rainbow’s startling, out-of-the-blue quality. Perhaps it’s because the sight of one means the worst is over. Or perhaps it’s because a rainbow is such an indisputable…

Girl Scout’s social media campaign inspires teens to ‘say yes’ to organ donation

March 21, 2018

They’re called Generation Z and they’re the teenagers poised to become tomorrow’s leaders. Ishika Govil is one of them. The high school junior just earned the Gold Award – the Girl Scouts’ highest honor – for her work promoting organ donation in Northern Virginia. Ishika, who attends Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology,…

One more day: Richmond toddler waits for a heart

January 31, 2018

Twin brothers Stonewall and Hawkeye aren’t your average set of toddler twins—they follow each other around like other little boys, each trying to run as fast as the other, and each collapsing happily into the arms of their doting parents. They’re not aware that every time the phone rings, the adults in the house think,…

One heart and the will to stay positive

January 31, 2018

Melinda Dillon has lived through the unthinkable, although you’d never know it from the way she talks. She’s upbeat, funny, and practically glows with life—she’s taken the words on the small tattoo at her wrist seriously, and she works hard to “stay positive.” The tattoo shows the lifeline of a beating heart alongside a B+,…

All Heart: Suffolk rallies for teen heart recipient

January 30, 2018

Chaunta Chalmers did what she always did while Jasmine was in the hospital last year: she looked at her little girl (far too little, in fact—a teenager trapped in an eight-year-old’s body) and said, “We’re going to do the best with what we have. We’re going to make the best of a bad situation.” The…

3 ways to save a life in 2018

January 11, 2018

We like to think of New Year’s resolutions not as a way you can work on bettering yourself (we think you’re pretty great already), but as an opportunity for looking at the world and deciding how you’ll be a bigger part of it. Sometimes playing that bigger part stems from something small—a little bit of…

Fairfax Couple Rings in the New Year with New Hearts

November 13, 2017

Taylor and Collin’s life together officially started in 2016 when they began dating. A young couple living outside of Washington, D.C., they’re celebrating their second Christmas together as they figure out the future and reminisce about a past that’s been full of both sickness and miracles. They celebrated their anniversary on June 9 but it’s…

Thankful for time: A Galax family heads south for Christmas

November 13, 2017

While other children are dreaming of a white Christmas, Audrey Gillespie is dreaming of palm trees and Mickey Mouse this year. Audrey spent her first Christmas in the hospital waiting for a heart transplant but this year, she’ll spend her fifth Christmas at Disney World. “We found out at the 20-week ultrasound that she was…