“I am the vessel for my donor’s heart. I shall honor it, cherish it and respect it by placing one foot in front of the other!” – William Spence
Who am I?
Hello, my name is Bill “Tinman” Spence and I am a Heart Transplant recipient. On January 1, 2014, I received my Gift from an unknown donor. If I hadn’t I would not be able to do the work that I believe I was meant to. I spent the last part of 2013 in at Loyola University Medical Center believing I would not see my next birthday. There are thousands of others in that same desperate position! Waiting, hoping, praying; that a compatible organ or tissue donor will give them their Gift. Fortunately, I have been able to regain a fair portion of my life back.
I want to celebrate the new life my Gift gave me and honor the donor along with their family that made it possible. In doing so, I want to shine what I hope to be a spotlight on the massive need for organ and tissue donors. Not everyone can be a donor, but the more people that sign up; the better the chances are the compatible donors can be found for those who still wait, hope and pray. I am making this my mission.
Now, I Hike For life, sharing my story and my mission with everyone that will listen. I will continue until I reach my goal of 2,190 new Organ & Tissue Donors. Why 2,190 you ask, because I want to be the first heart transplant recipient to conquer the Appalachian Trail. All 2,190 miles of it. I did make one attempt in 2016, but sadly I didn’t finish.