Organ, eye and tissue transplants offer patients a new chance at healthy, productive and normal lives, and return them to their families, friends and communities. You have the power to change someone’s world by being a donor. It’s about living. It’s about life. This is what was promoted during the 5th Annual Tracie Hester Walk for Life at Austin High on Saturday, November 10.
Tracie Hester Life Donor Walk hoped to bring more awareness to this issue. The event started with a little history about Tracie Hester and her legacy by Mrs. Betsy Heathcock, the former director of the Austin Angels and Tracie’s teacher. The audience also got to watch an amazing performance by the Austin Angels and Travis Belles to the song, “One More Moment”. The sister of Mrs. Ashlee Williamson, the assistant director of the Austin Angels, let the audience know firsthand how a donor donation can change your life. Without one, she would not have been able to tell her story. It just so happens that she was involved with the Austin Angels during Tracie’s tenure. This year, the audience was treated to a special performance by Jack Wolff, a 12 year dancer with the Precision Dance Academy. He danced to Bruno Mars’ “Talking to the Moon.”
The performances concluded with the Rogers/Hester family thanking everyone for their continued support. The monies raised from this event go to raising awareness for the donation registry and a scholarship fund for Travis and Austin students. To end the event, the SFA Bulldog Drumline, Austin Angels, and Travis Belles led Travis and Austin alumni and attendees for the “Walk of Pride”. At the end of the walk, the Rogers/Hester family released balloons signifying constant communication with Tracie.
The organizer of the event, Mrs. Meredith Watassek, an Austin teacher and DECA sponsor, said, “This event reminds us to cherish every second you have because it can be taken away from you. Turning tragedy into a life saving act, that’s one way becoming an organ donor has been described.” April is National Donor Awareness Month but the students at Austin High School and Travis High School hope to bring about awareness of this issue before April. The AHS DECA club has made a pamphlet to raise awareness about how easy it is to be a donor and legacy of Tracie Hester. These pamphlets will be in area business over the next few weeks. Pick up and make the choice. As of October 17, 2012, 115,986 candidates are on the United States Organ Waitlist. You can also go online to https://www.donatelifetexas.org/ to register.