A Father’s Gift of Life
When their daughter Lucy was only 10 days old, Ray and Yesenia Kimura of Martinez California were told that their baby’s life was in jeopardy.
The diagnosis was biliary atresia, a chronic liver disease that becomes evident shortly after birth. Fortunately, Ray was a donor match and when Lucy was a toddler, he saved her life by giving a portion of his liver.
Lucy is currently nine-years-old, in excellent health, and shining as a tournament softball player. She plays in the ten-year-old division of Universal Fastpitch, a premier travel softball organization. This season she has pitched in 27 games and faced 316 batters, striking out 163.
“Lucy is a star pitcher known for her 52-miles-per-hour fastball. She is doing very well and is a force of nature,” says a proud Ray.
Their connection to donation and transplantation has inspired the Kimura family to get involved at events that promote organ, eye, and tissue donation as a way to save and heal lives. For three years now, Ray, Yesenia, Lucy, and 12-year-old Carmen have participated at Donor Network West’s Donate Life Run/Walk 5K, 10K and Kids Dash. Since 2015, their team, I Love Lucy, has raised nearly $7,400 for organ and tissue donation education and research.
Now in its 8th year, the Donate Life Run/Walk will be held once again at Heather Farm Park in Walnut Creek. Over 1,000 participants will join the Kimuras on September 8 to celebrate the Gift of Life, made possible by generous donors and their families. #Run4Life
One organ donor can save the lives of up to eight people and a tissue donor can heal more than 75 others. Anyone can register as a donor at the DMV or at DonorNetworkWest.org.
This Father’s Day and throughout the year, remember that the best gift is the Gift of Life.