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Tissue Recipient Spotlight: Dawn DeBolt

Dawn DeBolt, a busy wife and mom of three, knew the importance of organ donation, but never thought of tissue donation until a 30-year-old ACL tear, affected her in 2020. It started in high school when Dawn was playing sports and tore her ACL. Over the years, her injury progressed, and her knee became so unstable that she had to rely on crutches to move around. “I went from being able to do everything for myself and my family to relying on everyone around me to help with all of life’s day to day activities,” shared Dawn. In December 2020, Dawn’s knee gave out, but this time something felt different. An MRI showed several meniscus tears in her knee, and confirmed her torn ACL from 30 years ago had deteriorated so much it was essentially non-existent.

In January 2021, Dawn received a life enhancing tissue transplant and witnessed her quality of life improve significantly! After Dawn’s surgery she wrote a letter to her donor’s family to express her gratitude, “I told them I was forever grateful to their loved one and their family for making this possible. I shared with them how much this has improved my quality of life and will allow me to return to the level of activity my ‘busy mom’ life requires.”

Now, because of a selfless gift of a tissue donor, Dawn can continue to stay active in her church, volunteer, enjoy travel, attend athletic events, garden and spend quality time with family.