Will’s life is a remarkable American tale filled with courage, faith and perseverance

Will, a heart recipient, prepares food in his chef's uniform

Will’s life is a remarkable American tale filled with courage, faith and perseverance. Growing up as the son of a Baptist preacher in Memphis, Tennessee, Will learned about the importance of service at an early age. This knowledge inspired Will to join the US Marine Corps in 1962. He served his country for 28 years before retiring as a lieutenant colonel and combat veteran with two tours in the Republic of Vietnam. Following his military service, Will worked as an analyst for government contracting firms in Washington, DC, earned his Doctor of Education degree and became a college professor!

Maintaining an active lifestyle has always been important to Will. Running, weightlifting, handball, racquetball and hiking were just a few of the things he enjoyed until his health was unexpectedly compromised in 2008. Will was diagnosed with Amyloidosis, a rare disease that causes the protein amyloid to build up in tissues and organs. Over the next two years, Will became increasingly ill until a heart and liver transplant were the only way to save his life. On April 25, 2010, Will received the organs he so desperately needed.

Because of his organ donor’s lifesaving gift, Will’s energy has returned and with it, his zest for life. To celebrate his five-year transplant anniversary, Will traveled to Paris in 2015 to soak up the culture and relish the world-renowned Parisian culinary delights for a month. An amateur chef himself, Will’s Paris trip inspired him to continue to hone his skills in the kitchen, to welcome new experiences, and to make the most of each and every day.

Story shared by LifeLink Foundation, Inc.