Say "Yes" Today

Kirk McConnell

Hello July and a new face in the LifeLink Faces of Transplantation Calendar. Meet Kirk

In the late 1990’s Kirk was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and in the early 2000’s he began to experience issues with his heart, as well as breathing problems, which were complicated by having had chemotherapy. Doctors told Kirk he had an enlarged heart, a diagnosis which was followed by a stroke. While Kirk recovered from the stroke, which had temporarily stolen his ability to speak, his heart continued to weaken. Kirk’s weakened heart caused kidney failure and required doctors to implant an LVAD, left ventricle assist device, known also as an artificial heart. He was placed on the heart/kidney transplant waiting list. Kirk persevered through each challenge, including his wait for transplant, with the support of his loving wife, Dee, at all times. After receiving his heart/kidney transplants, Kirk set his sights on a new goal of participation in the Transplant Games of America. Once again supported by Dee, and with the help of a family friend and local gym owner, Portia, Kirk began training in pickleball and ultimately earned a silver medal during the 2018 games as well as the bronze in cornhole. Not a day goes by without Kirk and Dee speaking to someone about the benefits of donation and transplantation.