Delaware donor recipient to ride in Tournament of Roses
WILLOW GROVE, Pa. - December 26, 2013 (WPVI) -- More than two decades after receiving life-saving organ-transplants a Willow Grove woman will experience another memorable life event next week on New Year's Day.
Her name is Faith Carlin, and she has been chosen to ride in the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California.
The invitation comes 21 years after she received a new kidney and pancreas.
"I had no idea that kidney and pancreas transplants were even being done. This was in the early 90's," said Faith.
Faith became so passionate about the "Gift of Life Donor Program" that she became a research coordinator there.
And because of that work and her 21 years of volunteering with the program, she will be one of 30 people around the nation to ride aboard the 11th annual "Donate Life Float" in the Tournament of Roses Parade on New Year's Day.
Faith was diagnosed with insulin dependent diabetes at the age of fifteen and later with renal failure.
She had the transplants in 1992; one of the pioneers of the Organ Transplant process.
"I waited only 3-1/2 months, because back in the early 90's people had never heard of a transplant, and they didn't know it would be so successful," she said.
At age 29, Faith had given up the idea of becoming a mother because of her illness and the fact her first husband had died of leukemia just a year earlier.
"At the time, I was a widow and not interested in dating," said Faith.
But 6 years later, Faith met Alex at the Philadelphia Art Museum.
"So our first date was at the Art Museum, and I knew Faith liked art from what she had told me," said Alex Carlin.
They were married in six weeks, and at age 38, she had Elizabeth, then Erin, and then came Star Carlin, their feisty 5-year-old miniature pincher.
Faith says only one thing has been extra difficult.
"I actually had a hard time thinking about someone had to die for me to get this call for a transplant," she said.
Faith received her organs from Doug Shriver of Gettysburg who was killed in a car accident in 1992.
She will carry a photo of him in the parade on New Year's Day.
Faith has maintained a good relationship with her donor's family, and encourages everyone to become an organ donor, reminding them what it has done for her life.
pennsylvania news, local/state, lisa thomas-laury
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