National Donor Day has shared February 14 with Valentine's Day every year since 1998, after it was started to raise awareness about the importance of organ and tissue donation. To people like Bill Wyatt, an Instructional Assistant at Rochester High School, the gift of life is sweeter than candy.
At the age of 31, Wyatt was diagnosed with Polycystic Kidney Disease, an inherited disorder that causes cluster cysts to develop, enlarging the kidney and eventually causing it to lose function over time.
As the years faded, so did Wyatt's kidney function, but he said it was his kids that kept him going. In 2013, Wyatt was placed on dialysis.
Wyatt was working at the school when he got the call about a transplant being ready for him. It's a day he will never forget.
On August 22, 2018, Wyatt finally got his transplant. Several months had passed by when a letter came in the mail from his donor's family. Over the next year, he would learn all about his donor from photos, letters and eventually meeting her family.
Wyatt said he still gets goosebumps thinking about it.
Wyatt's donor not only gave him life, she also saved two other people with her heart and other kidney. According to the U.S. Government Information on Organ Donation and Transplantation, everyday 17 people die while on the national transplant waiting list.
Wyatt says he can't express the importance of being an organ donor enough.
Visit donatelife.gov for more information on organ donation or how you can become a donor.