Each spring, Tracy Reifer rejoices in recognizing Easter, her birthday, her son and granddaughter’s birthdays and Mother’s Day. But in the spring of 2015, Tracy wasn’t eagerly preparing for her birthday or planning for the holidays. Instead, she was fighting for her life.
In 2006, Tracy was diagnosed with an autoimmune liver disease – Primary Biliary Cholangitis (PBC). Unfortunately, Tracy was told that in order for her to survive, she would need a new liver.
Over the next ten years, she took care of herself, stayed in close contact with her doctors and prayed that her health would remain okay. But in 2015, her health began to rapidly decline. At that point her doctor diagnosed her with end stage liver disease and recommended she be evaluated for a liver transplant. Tracy went through the various tests and was placed on the national transplant waiting list in April 2015.
Tracy began rapidly losing weight, strength, and hope. She was so weak she could barely climb the flight of stairs to her bedroom. As spring 2015 began to fade into summer,
Tracy was beginning to lose hope. As life bloomed outside her door, her own life was withering away.
But on the first day of summer, Tracy received the call that would change her life. A liver had been found for her! Tracy underwent transplant surgery shortly afterwards and as soon as she woke up she felt amazing! Post-transplant she has competed in more than 25 5K’s and has participated in the U.S. and World Transplant Games. Tracy credits her renewed sense of purpose and life to her generous donor. “Because of my donor, my hero, I have a greater appreciation for every season of life. Just this past spring we welcomed our 3rd granddaughter, who I would have never been able to meet if not for my donor. I also turned 50 and that wasn’t a birthday I thought I would ever see. He has given me my life, my health and so much more. He has given me everything.”