Liver Life Walk Cleveland 2019
LIVEr Champion: David Grier
David is a two-time liver transplant recipient. In 1997, he received a liver, and in 2007 he received the liver and kidney.
David celebrates his gift by giving back to the transplant community through his involvement with several organizations and events. He has participated in the bi-annual Transplant Games in Pittsburgh, Grand Rapids, Madison, and Cleveland. David has participated in the Liver Life Walk Cleveland event for years. He has assisted in organ donor drives for LifeBanc, and also spoken at churches, schools, and various events to promote organ donation.
David has been challenged with severe depression and a break-down during his journey, and he beat it!
He is passionate about his work at the Transplant House of Cleveland. David was introduced to the organization through his transplant social worker, because of his many years of working with transplant patients in the Transplant Center at the Cleveland Clinic. Once a week since 1997, he meets patients at the Clinic who have gone through liver transplants, and discusses with them what to expect. His main goal when working with these patients at the hospital is to try to get them to understand how much they can accomplish once they get out of the hospital, and with this second (or third) chance at life, it is time for them to start achieving the goals that they have missed out on over the years. This peer-to-peer experience benefits them both. David has seen literally hundreds of different patients at the Cleveland Clinic, and tries to conduct a similar program at the Transplant House. He has had the pleasure of working with over 500 different families there so far.
David’s major accomplishment as a two-time transplant recipient is achieving his goal of becoming a pilot. His story was also featured in a national aviation magazine back in 2010. It was a true achievement, because in order to accomplish the goal of becoming a pilot, he would have to pass a medical exam that is pretty stringent. After receiving a double transplant, he was able to accomplish this goal quite easily. What this means to the transplant world is that a patient can return to great health post-transplant!
His next goal with his pilot’s license is to be able to volunteer to transport patients to and from Cleveland via airplane when they are in need to get to the local hospitals. He feels this unique skill and experience is a great way for him to give back even more to the transplant community.