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Stories of Hope: Courtney Waring

At the age of 5, I was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma on the flat bone above my right eye. I had surgery to remove the tumor and began chemotherapy. After 3 years, my cancer returned at the age of 9 and I  underwent therapy again. After living with cancer and surviving, I went to live my life by helping others through joining various organizations. I attended USC Aiken in the field of Early Childhood Education.

 During my Sophomore year in undergrad, I began to have shortness of breath and swelling. I went to several different doctors only to be sent home with a diagnosis of asthma. I progressively got worse and ended up in the emergency room. I was then diagnosed with congestive heart failure and dilated cardiomyopathy, that was stemmed from the chemotherapy, Adriamycin, I received as at the age of five. 

My heart function was functioning at 7%. Through medication and excellent physician care, I returned to a normal heart function and my everyday life. On November of 2017, I went into heart failure again. However, through different trials of medication, I was is in need of a heart transplant determined by the Sanger Heart & Vascular Transplant team, by the end of January 2018. 

On February 1, 2018, I was listed as a 1a recipient and by February 3, 2018, I received a new heart. My transplant happened on Super Bowl Sunday on February 4, 2018. I am forever gratefully blessed for my donor and this new chance at life. Our multicultural community is in need of organ donors due to the lack of minorities registering to be a donor. 
There is no reason for anyone to rule themselves out of donating. Don’t assume that any illness and or any age prevents you from being able to donate something. Virtually anyone has the potential to be a donor to someone. Everyone, especially minorities, should register to be a donor!