“I worked in the cruise industry for close to 20 years and loved every minute of it. I always used to say, I found my niche in life. My job as Cruise Director was to mix, mingle and make sure people had a good time – what’s not to love about that? But I got to the point where I needed more out of life. I left the cruise industry to find a new path, but then I got sick.
In 2002, I was diagnosed with Hepatitis C. At the time, little was known about the virus and doctors were unaware of how it was transmitted or how it progressed. In fact, I remember a doctor telling me I would not die from Hep C but that complications from the disease could lead to death. My doctors knew Hep C could cause liver cancer, which I was diagnosed with and cured of in 2010, but what they didn’t know about was the damage caused by chronic infections which often went undetected. Eventually, after not improving, my medical team began talking to me about the need for a liver transplant. What was that? I was a well-traveled, 56-year-old man and had never heard of a liver transplant. Doctors got my attention when they asked, “Do you want to live?” I was all ears.”
“In 2015, I underwent a successful liver transplant. While the liver transplant was successful, my kidney’s shut down during surgery. Post-liver transplant, I spent 16 months on dialysis before receiving a kidney transplant in 2017. Since then, I have found new purpose in life and feel obligated to educate the world about liver health and the importance of organ donation.”
April is National Organ Donation Awareness month. Thanks to volunteers like Darryl who are willing to share their story, we can raise awareness about the importance of organ donation and help put more patients on the path to transplant. For more information about organ donation or living donor liver transplant, please visit ALF’s comprehensive Living Donor Liver Transplant Information Center.