27 April 2018

He's Cycling With Recycled Organs

Kyle Bailey was born with Cystic Fibrosis.  At age 25, he underwent a double lung transplant.  Since then, he's endured a liver and kidney transplant. He likes to say that he's been "given four chances at life." So, perhaps not surprisingly, he's started a non-profit organization dedicated to spreading awareness about the importance of organ donation and helping to provide for the medical needs of children with disabilities and limited-income families.

What some people might find surprising, however, is that the native of Port Huron, Michigan starting a 1400 mile (2200 km) bicycle trip today.  He plans to pedal from Ann Arbor, Michigan to Orlando, Florida to raise awareness (and funds) for the work he and his organization are doing.

One goal of his, he says, is to change the organ donor system in his home state of Michigan. Currently, a would-be donor has to "opt in" at the Secretary of State's office.  Bailey would like to see it changed to an "opt out" policy, in which everyone is automatically an organ donor unless he or she says otherwise.  Currently, several European and Latin American countries have such a policy, and several US states have considered them.

Whatever happens with those policies, I think Kyle's ride just might convince a few people to become organ donors.  If nothing else, it might help people realize that there is indeed life after getting a new liver.

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