On Saturday, June 30th, the Vermont Lake Monsters game will kick off with two special children sending a very important message– organ donation saves lives.
At less than 10 years of age, Vermont residents Mikaela Sienkiewicz and Tony Granger dealt with life-threatening health conditions that made living an ordinary life nearly impossible. Tony was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease, a kidney disease in which multiple cysts form on the kidneys causing them to enlarge. At the age of 10, he underwent a lifesaving kidney transplant that would help him regain a normal childhood. Mikaela was diagnosed at age 4 with an autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease that would ultimately cause one of her kidneys and liver to fail creating an urgent need for both a liver and kidney donor. Mikaela received her new liver in May of 2011 and new kidney in August of 2011. Both children are now living healthy lives thanks to the generosity of organ donors.
“We look forward to having Tony and Mikaela represent the importance of organ donation at the Vermont Lake Monsters game,” said Lauren Quinn, Director of Hospital and Community Services for the Center for Donation & Transplant, “this community event will hopefully encourage attendees to join the Donate Life Vermont registry and talk to their families and friends about their decision to become donors.”
Before the Lake Monsters take on the Lowell Spinners, Mikaela and Tony will walk together to home plate, wearing their “Donate Life Vermont” t-shirts to throw out the ceremonial first pitch of the game while friends and family cheer them on from the crowd.
Today, there are over 2,000 pediatric patients in need of a lifesaving transplant. In Vermont, the official way to register to become an organ donor and provide hope to those waiting is by registering online at www.DonateLifeVT.org. Currently, only 4-5% of Vermonters are registered on the state’s official registry.
To purchase tickets to the June 30th Vermont Lake Monsters game, please visit www.VermontLakeMonsters.com. Or participate in upcoming contests on Donate Life Vermont’s Facebook page in order to win a pair of tickets!