Brenda Cortez, 49
Transplant Games Attended: 2016, 2018
Fifteen years ago Brenda Cortez made one of the most selfless decisions a person can make, when she donated her kidney to an acquaintance in her local community. “She shared with me that she was in need, and I immediately felt the urge to donate to help her. I felt at that moment, I would be a match.” Brenda’s generous act not only saved one person’s life, but continues to raise awareness about donation and transplantation.
After becoming a living donor, Brenda’s daughter wrote her college entrance essay about her mother’s donation and how it inspired her. This essay then motivated Brenda to start writing a children's book series based around the character, Howl the Owl. These organ donation focused books help children and families understand and relate to transplant, while also inspiring kindness.
Howl Competes at the Transplant Games is the ninth and latest book in the Howl the Owl series. In this book, Howl and his buddies Blaze and Spark share their excitement for, and experiences at, the Transplant Games. Brenda’s creative endeavor has helped educate children on the power of donation and transplantation, while introducing more people to the Transplant Games.
Q&A with Brenda
HOW DID YOUR LIFE CHANGE AFTER DONATION?
Physically, I felt no different. Emotionally, I felt this wonderful sense of accomplishment that I had helped someone in such an amazing way. My life also changed personally, because donating led me to write children’s books about my experience and organ donation.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ELEMENT OF THE TRANSPLANT GAMES AND WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO YOU?
The TGA Village is a great gathering place and helps provide participants with donation and transplantation related information. It’s the perfect place to showcase my Howl the Owl books and to meet so many people!
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE NON-COMPETITION EVENT AT THE TRANSPLANT GAMES?
I love the Opening Ceremony. It’s just so impactful and it makes you feel like you are a part of something truly amazing!
The Transplant Games of America is a six-day, festival style event that brings together the entire transplant community to celebrate the gift of life and to honor those who have given the gift of life.
Please consider donating to this special 30th Birthday Celebration so that we can continue to save lives through organ, eye and tissue donation.
The Transplant Games of America is an initiative of the Transplant Life Foundation, the nation's leading advocacy non-profit for those in the donation and transplantation community. To learn more about the Foundation, the Games and the work we do, visit our websites!
Visit Howl the Owl’s website today to learn more about the series and to purchase these special books!