The Chris Klug Foundation has announced the winners of the first Bounce Back Award, presented by Astellas. The award recognizes two transplant recipients who exhibit a great quality of life.
Nominations for the award were open Sept. 16 through Oct. 16. More than 75 nominations came in from 27 states across the country; CKF staff and board members selected the two winners.
Winner Barbara Breckenridge, of Buffalo is a 15-year kidney transplant recipient. Since being given a second chance at life, Breckenridge has dedicated her life to advocating for organ and tissue donation.
Sarah Diina, director of marketing and communications at the Upstate New York Transplant Center, said, "Barbara provides peer counseling for dialysis patients, transplant patients and their families, and newly diagnosed kidney disease individuals. Barbara facilitates a kidney support group at Erie County Medical Center, and has done many radio and television appearances promoting the Donate Life cause."
Breckenridge has won more than 31 medals at the Transplant Games, and has traveled to Australia, Sweden and South Africa to compete.
Winner David Miller of Semmes, Alabama, received a liver from the family of a 13-year-old boy who lost his life after a tragic fall. The family's selfless decision to donate their son's organs gave Miller a second chance at life. Since his transplant, Miller has not let any obstacle slow him down. He educates high school students to teach their peers about organ and tissue donation and encourages them to register as donors. Through his efforts, his group registered 863 organ donors. Miller has won medals at the World Transplant Games and participates in 5K runs.
The winners and a guest will travel to Aspen, Colorado, for the Chris Klug Foundation's 9th Annual Aspen Summit for Life weekend, Dec. 5-6. CKF will host the winners and provide flights, lodging and tickets to all Summit for Life weekend events. The Bounce Back Award will be presented Dec. 6 on top of Aspen Mountain in front of 400 racers and CKF supporters.
"We were thrilled by the response to the first annual Bounce Back Award presented by Astellas " CKF Executive Director Beth Slater said. "We read so many amazing stories of what is possible after a lifesaving transplant. Picking just two winners was an incredibly difficult task, but we're so proud of Barbara and David and the way they live their lives."
Founder and chairman of CKF Klug said he looks forward to welcoming the Bounce Back Award winners to Aspen. "I couldn't be more excited to welcome Barbara and David to my hometown of Aspen to celebrate life together and recognize their volunteerism to help others in the transplant community today. All over the country, our 'Donor Dudes' volunteers support our work and help us get the word out about donation. Both Barbara and David are officially 'Donor Dudes!' We can't wait to recognize both winners here in Aspen at the 9th Annual Aspen Summit for Life."
For more information, visit www.chrisklugfoundation.org.