Dance has always been a part of Marquita’s life. She began dancing when she was four and knew she wanted to dance professionally. While attending college, Marquita was diagnosed with Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis (PSC), a chronic liver disease. After battling liver disease for over 14 years, Marquita received a lifesaving liver transplant in December 2016.
Marquita says, “I promised my doctor that I would resume dancing and after 11 months of recovery, I was able to teach a dance workshop.” When reflecting on her second chance at life, Marquita says, “I am grateful for this precious gift. I think of my donor family and their loved one daily. I strive to honor them through my efforts to be the best person that I can be and by using dance to uplift my community.”
This April, during the federally sanctioned National Donate Life Month, LifeLink® of Florida honors the spirit of those individuals who make transplants possible—organ, tissue and eye donors. We celebrate the lives of those who received their second chance – and finally, we call attention to the more than 113,000 men, women and children still awaiting their Gifts of Life across the United States; of which more than 5,000 are fellow Floridians listed at Florida based organ transplant centers.
“Each year we work together with community partners to inform Floridians about the importance of organ and tissue donation,” says Liz Lehr, Executive Director, LifeLink of Florida. “During Donate Life Month, and throughout the year, we share vital information about donation and encourage individuals to learn the facts and commit to saving lives by joining Florida’s organ, tissue and eye donor registry.”
Organ donation, with the primary exception of living kidney donation, takes place after death, and provides the Gift of Life to tens of thousands each year through heart, kidney, lung, liver, pancreas or intestine transplants. Without the generosity of organ donors those waiting will die. Make a potentially lifesaving decision today by registering as an organ and tissue donor online at www.DonateLifeFlorida.org, or during a driver license transaction while at your local tax collector office.
Contact LifeLink of Florida for more information on organ and tissue donation at (800) 262-5775 or visit www.LifeLinkFoundation.org.