Give A Second Chance At Life: Become An Organ Donor

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Give A Second Chance At Life: Become An Organ Donor

That time of year is upon us – at least for those of us in the Midwest – time to get our motorcycle gear together and get out on the open road. As motorcyclists, we are aware of the danger that comes along with our hobby and because of our hobby, the chance of an accident taking place is greater. Most of us don’t think about what we would do if they unthinkable happened to us or family members, but we should.

Organ donation is such an important topic and one that I am extremely passionate about. In early August of last year, I received a lung transplant. The unselfish act of one individual changed my life for the better – forever. Because of that decision, I have received a second chance at life.

Did you know that 18 people will die each day waiting for an organ? Or that every 10 minutes another name is added to the national organ transplant waiting list? Or that more than 100,000 men, women and children need life-saving organ transplants today? These statistics are all true.

One person alone can save the lives of eight individuals through organ donation. For more information, please visit  Here you can also sign up to become an organ donor. Click on “Register Now” and then click on your state. From there, you will be directed to information for your state on how you can become a donor.

Because of my second chance at life – I have a second chance to take trips I’ve dreamt of, a second chance to tell my family how much I care about them and a second chance to spread the word and assist in others having the same opportunity.

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  1. Aaron Heinrich July 9, 2014 at 7:21 pm

    Hi John, I’d like to use the picture of you on your Vincent for a short video I’m putting together to launch a motorcycle lifestyle magazine. Happy to talk you through what I’m doing before you say yes or no.


    • Mark July 16, 2014 at 4:31 pm


      I will check with John Parham regarding your request. Please call me at six one four, 551 oh nine six oh. I’ll need you to explain the project and email me details.



  2. richard goecker June 23, 2011 at 11:04 am

    i am on the waitig list for a liver transplant two years and waiting i am glad to see people stand up for organ donation keep up the good work and enjoy your second chance at life there is a reason you were given it.

  3. Jacquelyn B June 20, 2011 at 11:04 am

    John – I am a donor sister, my brother died in a snowmobile accident in 2008 and we donated his organs, tissue and bone. He saved 5 lives and we have been in touch with a few of the recipients and met his heart recipient last August. Donating Andrew’s organs is what helps my family deal with the loss. Thank you for promoting organ donation as it has also become a big part of my life and I hope to reach as many people as possible to let them know that organ donation helps the donor family as well as the recipient. 🙂

  4. Rhonda Williams June 18, 2011 at 11:46 am

    6-14-11 Jeffrey said “PLEASE warn people helmets SAVE LIVES..I KNOW…” A helmet also saved my husband’s life in a 20mph slide-out to avoid a last minute maneuver of a motorist in front of him. People should also know that helmets also take lives by being caught on mirrors, handlebars and foot pegs causing a snap of the neck. Just the fact of an extra 6lbs on your head can cause a whiplash type of death also. We are glad you are alive Jeffrey but your statement is only partially correct. Giving people a false sense of security because they wear a helmet is as good as saying have a few beers before ya ride cause after all, you’ve got a helmet on. And for the record, we are both organ donors.

  5. Abinngton Joe June 17, 2011 at 8:20 am

    Proud to be a organ donor and when my time comes and my parts could help someone else – that’s all right be me. Just hope they do a double check on my liver- I’m even questioning that.

    happy trails

  6. Mitch Sivley June 17, 2011 at 5:40 am

    I am a right lung recipient. I recieved my “Gift of Life” on December 30, 1998, almost 13 years ago, and I am still graceful to wake up in the morning and take that first breath of air without struggling for it. I live in Arkansas and had to move to Wisconsin for a year at the hospital waiting…I was one of the lucky to receive in that time period because I don’t believe I would have made it much longer.
    I owe my “second” life to a motorcycle rider that had an unfortunate accident. I have ridden since I was 13…I am now 58. The letter I wrote to the family was the hardest thing I have ever done…but I did, I’m sorry to say that I did not get a response. Nevertheless, I thank him and God for my life.
    John, thank you for getting the word out, we need more people like you in our cause.
    May God always bless you and yours.
    Take care of that “Gift” “Lunger”!

  7. Richard Landry June 16, 2011 at 11:04 pm

    Check your facts, most transportation head trauma is in automobiles. Motorcycles have the same level of head trauma as bicycles.

  8. Richard Landry June 16, 2011 at 11:01 pm

    Check your facts most transportation head trauma is in cages. Motorcycles are the same percentage as bicycles.

  9. Tom Nied June 16, 2011 at 9:52 pm

    My Brother died of Pulmonary Fibrosis. Terrible disease. Donald E. Nied. I miss him.

  10. bill walsh June 16, 2011 at 5:42 pm

    My Wife received a double lung transplant at UCLA 5 1/2 years ago and is doing great. Walking at least 2 miles a day.

  11. John Druash June 16, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    I feel the same way. I have been a doner for as long as I can remember in Florida. I am not as young as i use to be (dah) but according to my doc I am fit as a fiddle.
    Should the lord take me from this life I hope and pray I can give something to someone else.
    I must say I am surprized that so many people need transplants that are not available? Is there so much RED tape involved? Is it that the system needs streamlined? OR…. Are people afraid they will be let to die on the table because they are a doner?
    I have heard that before. Very sad.
    Glad you are doing well and looking forward to seeing you again.
    John Druash ( AKA) Klanker

  12. Roman June 16, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    John, Great to hear of your second chance, everyone needs to stop and consider your story. Carpe Diem

  13. Rodeo June 16, 2011 at 11:54 am

    As an avid motorcycle rider who works for United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), which is the non-profit organization that works with Donate Life to actually facilitate the matching of donors with recipients, I want to thank you for promoting such a worthy cause. It would be so much better if we could convince riders everywhere to become organ donors – it saves lives!

    But I also agree with other readers that HELMETS SAVES LIVES! Regardless of state law, it just makes sense.

    So please promote the practice of wearing helmets (unlike the photograph accompanying this article) because face it – what good are your new lungs if your brains are spread out all over the pavement?

    – Rodeo

  14. Richard Landry June 16, 2011 at 11:33 am

    Hi John,
    Welcome to the world of spare part living. Congrats on you transplantation. I just had my 4th anniversary June 7th. I don’t know my donor, just that she was a woman in her thirties. Thanks to Larry Janos for his gift of life for so many. Congrats to Lea Anne Woods may I live for ever and never overtake your number of days. It’s great you are putting this out to the bike community. Thank you.

  15. yamahamama54 June 16, 2011 at 11:20 am

    I just finished reading John’s story about his ordeal. My husband just became a new rider at the age of 59 3 years ago, and I am planning on riding myself sometime next year. There are others reasons for organ transplants. My mother recieved on from an 18 year old man that was killed in a motorcycle accident. I truly believe, that if there is any way I can help someone else when I’m gone, so be it.

  16. Mike Weiss June 16, 2011 at 10:42 am

    John, our family knows what it’s like to lose a loved one to an accident. We felt that organ donation could be “one good thing” that could come from a tragic loss. We have never regretted donating our daughters organs to help save the lives of several people needing heart, lung, liver,and kidney transplants. We have met the heart recipient and she seems to have the same “glow” our lovely daughter had. Thanks for spreading the word…Mike

  17. Left Coast Tim June 16, 2011 at 10:42 am

    Not to be a “Negative Nancy”, I’m sure you’re heartfelt in your newfound life beliefs, so then why don’t you wear a full-face helmet and quit selling novelty, protection-less “joke lids” to your biker customers? I know all about ABATE’s “freedom, man” arguments, but when icons such as Indian Larry and Bruce Rossmeyer DIE because they’re making a “freedom statement”, shouldn’t that tell you something? PS–glad you’re still here, sir.

  18. Sulley June 16, 2011 at 10:16 am

    I ride and i am a donor, i am also on the heart transplant list at this time, i will need to be in the hospital for my best chance of getting a heart because of my blood type “O-” the transplant Dr told me that the biker community was one of the largest donor groups out there, i would be proud to receive a heart from someone that shares the passion that i do, please be a donor, the life you save may be mine. Sulley

  19. jim strother June 16, 2011 at 9:46 am

    I retired from a Level 1 trauma center after 35 years
    service. I witnessed the impact of the donor shortage almost daily.
    Thank God for people like you! The word needs to get out….
    Thanks, Jim Strother

  20. Ryan June 14, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    Thanks for sharing this article John. Being in the transplant field myself it’s great to see people promoting organ donation. Having been through it you know the benefits of The Gift. My hope is that one day everybody will be willing to donate because there are so many people in need.

  21. Larry Janos June 14, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    I’m a Donor Father and I can say my son being a Organ , eye and Tissue Donor has helped us through the pass year. we have had contact with all of his organ recipenats and his heart recipent and I will be speaking at Donor Dash. a 5K walk/run in Denver July 17. Been a organ Donor is the best gift you can ever give a stranger.

  22. Larry Janos June 14, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    A year ago May 13th our son passed away and was a donor. We been in contact with all of the recipenet and have gotton a good friendship will Tylers heart recipenet (Bill). This coming July 17 Bill and I will be speaking at the Donor Dash in Denver. As a Donor Parent I can say that know there have been so many people helped by my son’s gifts has help ease the pain of our loss.

  23. jeffrey feyereisen June 14, 2011 at 9:48 am

    I am alive today because of a helmet I wore..3 years ago hit and run driver ran me over on my cycle in high noon in town left me for dead. PLEASE warn people helmets SAVE LIVES..I KNOW…PS the driver was not caught,also have good insurance and sign a donor card…thanks Jeff

  24. Lea Anne Woods June 14, 2011 at 9:18 am


    I received a heart transplant 5 years ago and know how strongly you feel about organ donation! I, as well, have had that second chance at life for which I feel extremely blessed. Thank you for helping get our cause known.

  25. ken patterson June 14, 2011 at 7:27 am

    Hey John ..glad to hear thigs are better for you..I have beenon the doner list for ..30 years..and a blood doner with 135 units to my criedt ..we do care ..glad you got the help you needed..

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