NewsChannel Five spoke to a lucky transplant recipient who hopes the list gets smaller in the future.
Jennifer Winters desperately needed a lung transplant, but the news was bleak. "They said the life expectancy when waiting for a lung transplant is twelve months. I waited almost two years," Winters said.
She knows how precious each breath can be. "I was up to six liters of oxygen, down to about 10 percent of my lung capacity on both lungs when I received the gift of life and I've been able to do so many wonderful things."
So many wonderful things like the abilty to watch her baby grow and taking family vacations.
"A lot of people say when they get sick, 'why me'? I was twenty-seven years old when I got listed with a six month old baby."
That 6-month old has since grown in to a 5th grader and Winters hasn't taken any moment of that for granted. "You can think your glass is half full or half empty, but I'm just glad I have a glass."
The community raised over $7,000 to help Winters get her double lung transplant. "Every day there are people out there helping, paying it forward and that's what it's all about," Winters says.
And after being on the receiving end of such a generous gift, Winters realizes the importance of giving. "Make sure you sit around family dinners or whatever. It's a hard subject but you have to tell your family what your wishes are."
Winters knows how easy it is to put off the little things, like registering to become an organ donor, but it was someone else's small efforts to do so, that gave her the gift of life.
"The little things in life are the big things."
Watch the video interview with Jennifer Winters.
“You Have the Power to Save Lives – Sign Your Donor Card & Tell Your Loved Ones of Your Decision”
In Great Britain, register at NHS Organ Donor Register
In Australia, register at Australian Organ Donor Register
Your generosity can save up to eight lives with heart, kidneys, liver, lungs, pancreas and small intestine transplants. One tissue donor can help up to 100 other people by donating skin, corneas, bone, tendon, ligaments and heart valves