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Waiting for the Gift: Story 5

Hoping for a Lifetime

Story by Joel Swerdlow, Photos by Russell Sparkman

Heart transplant candidates Rick Williams and Abraham Madrigal get a rare opportunity to sit in the sun, while Linda Alcorace, who needs a liver, nervously calls to learn the results of her latest blood tests. They and more than 84,000 other people in the U.S. try to stay as healthy as possible while waiting to see if an organ will become available. Such waiting adds billions of dollars to annual health care costs, and leads to suffering and deaths that would be avoidable-if more people would donate organs.

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