Chef Oliver Hale is a well-known West Michigan resident and an award-winning chef, but what people may not know about him is he is a two-time kidney transplant recipient.
He received his first kidney in 1985 and it lasted 23 years until his body rejected it.
“There are so many people in need of organ donations. Each day they keep getting sicker. I worry every day, that my new kidney will fail,” he said.
His second kidney came 2.5 years ago and he continues to champion the rights of organ donors.
“Educate yourselves, save lives, help others,” he advised. “Some people are on the wait list for over ten years.”
Chef O has represented us admirably at the Transplant Games of America on TEAM MICHIGAN. He has competed in tennis singles, doubles and mixed doubles. The competition has led him to nine countries and he is headed to Houston this year in July. He has garnered 27 medals, and 18 of them have been Gold!
The games include track and field, bowling, racquetball, basketball, golf swimming, volleyball and fencing—to name a few. It is a four day event which is open to individuals who have had a transplant nine months prior to the date of the games. It is a time of bonding, healing and achieving for transplant recipients.
Chef O stressed that the process of becoming a donor has become even more simplified. “There is no signing anymore on licenses. It is simple. There is a red heart placed on the front of an individual’s license. That’s it!,” he explained.
When someone donates a kidney, the hospital stay is taken care of financially and fundraisers are usually held to accommodate for a person’s time off work to go through the procedure.
“I just hope people choose to help,” he concluded. ” It is so important to save lives.”
For more information visit Gift of Life, National Kidney Foundation, or the Secretary of State Office.