CENTRAL FLORIDA – I am alive today because someone said, “Yes!” This is the testimony of Charlyce Simmons, a kidney transplant recipient, and is similar to that of the thousands of other grateful transplant recipients across the nation who received the Gift of Life from an organ or tissue donor. This is why Charlyce, a longtime Donate Life volunteer, is dedicated to educating African American audiences about the importance of organ, eye and tissue donation.
“My kidney donor gave me a second chance at life. Because she made the decision to register as a donor and talk with her family, I was able to fulfill my dreams of getting married, writing my first book, and pursuing a career in gospel music. I am forever grateful for this precious Gift of Life,” Charlyce said.
Today, more than 100,000 children and adults await a life-saving organ transplant. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, African Americans make up the largest group of minorities in need, with approximately 30,000 African Americans awaiting a life-saving kidney.
One of the ways Charlyce shares her testimony, and the lifesaving mission of organ donation is through a passion project called Gift of Gospel, a faith-based “edu-tainment” virtual concert that showcases sensational singing and inspirational organ and tissue donation testimonials from women of faith. It also features performances from gospel recording artists LaRue Howard, Meka King as well as Charlyce.
Another testimony featured in the project is that of Dr. Ruth Baskerville, a donor wife, whose husband, Waverly became a tissue donor. Both Charlyce and Dr. Ruth have powerful testimonies of the miracle of organ and tissue donation.
Want to be inspired? Scan the QR code with your smartphone’s camera to view the concert and testimonies.
In 2022, the U.S. reached a historic milestone of achieving its 1 millionth organ transplant. This milestone wouldn’t be possible without generous donors and their families saying, “Yes” to donation. Conversations with family about donation helps to save lives, like the conversation Dr. Ruth had with her family. “When I think about the importance of talking about organ donation with your family… it’s a spark that somebody starts and they’ll say, ‘Right, I need to do this.’ And that is how my circle became registered organ donors—and now every member of my extended family, including my grandchildren, became registered organ donors,” she said while sharing her story in Gift of Gospel project.
Want to inspire others? Share the concert with others or invite us to your place of worship to show the video, or hear testimonies live.
For more information about organ and tissue donation, visit www.DonateLifeFLorida.org