Titleist Brand Ambassador and two-time heart transplant recipient Erik Compton was presented the Donate Life Champion Award on Monday during the Transplant Foundation's annual Erik Compton Golf Classic in Coral Gables, Fla.
Compton was recognized for his work on the Play Through with Erik Compton program in partnership with Donate Life America and supported by Genentech, which aims to raise organ donation awareness. The award is presented to role models in the sports community who have made a difference inspiring others through their support for organ donation.
"It’s a special feeling to know all the work we're doing to raise awareness about organ donation can have an impact on people lives," said Compton. "It’s a great honor to receive the Donate Life Champion Award for representing the transplant community."
As part of this program, Compton visits hospitals during select events on the PGA Tour, gives motivational speeches to patients, families and medical staff, signs and distributes Titleist hats and golf balls, and shares his personal story and journey to the PGA Tour. Click here to watch Erik's inspirational video.
The 33-year old is enjoying a most successful start to the 2013 season with three top 25 finishes, including a career-best fourth place tie at the Honda Classic.
By working with sports figures and their loyal fans, Donate Life America hopes to significantly increase the number of registered organ donors. The Transplant Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing services for transplant families, increasing organ, eye and tissue donation through community education and funding transplant research.
Although more people are saying yes to organ donation, the numbers of people on the organ transplant waiting list continue to grow. Here are some facts and figures that you may find eye-opening:
- More than 117,000 people are on the organ transplant waiting list in the U.S.
- A new name is added to the organ transplant waiting list every 10 minutes. This means that during a four-hour round of golf, approximately 24 people will be added to the waiting list.
- People may not be aware of the steps they should take to become an organ donor.
- One organ donor can save up to eight lives.
“Off the golf course, organ donation is a topic that is very personal to me," said Compton. "I hope that by sharing my experience with others, Americans can see for themselves how important it is to learn the facts about organ donation and consider taking the next step of registering to become an organ donor.”
For more information on organ donation, transplantation and to learn how to become an organ donor, please visit Donate Life America’s website at www.donatelife.net.