Tanasia’s Story: Cheering for Life

Tanasia in graduation gap and school colors

Growing up, every beat of Tanasia’s heart seemed like a delicate dance on the edge of uncertainty. Born with a rare heart defect called Tetralogy of Fallot, she had her first complex and corrective surgery at 3 months old. At the age of 6, Tanasia’s world expanded beyond crayons and bedtime stories when she was introduced to football and cheerleading. Although she couldn’t imagine herself doing anything else, everyday joys and simple activities continued to be tinged with apprehension.

Hope arrived unexpectedly at 14, when Tanasia underwent a pulmonary valve replacement and received a donor heart valve and tissue donation. Following her recovery, Tanasia moved to Texas and tried out for her high school cheer team. Supported by her family and inspired by her donor’s gift of life, she earned her place on the varsity squad. Soon after, Tanasia had the distinct honor of meeting her donor’s family, whose daughter’s selfless gift had restored Tanasia’s health and given her the promise of a brighter future.

“They told me what she was like, which made me realize how lucky I was to have received the blessing of her donation. I realized I shouldn’t take my surgery for granted and that I should live my life fully with no regrets. I am now able to do what I love, and more. Being able to talk to my donor’s family opened my eyes to the magnitude of the blessing that was bestowed upon me.”

Today, Tanasia is happy, healthy, and free to embrace life and her passions wholeheartedly — all because someone said YES to donation.

More than 100,000 people are waiting for lifesaving organ transplants. Together, we can make a difference. Register your decision here: https://bit.ly/3hmiWKE