Coworker quits smoking to donate organ

Coworker quits smoking to donate organ
Sondra Bloxom (left) and Frieda Booth-Pitts (right)

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - If you go to renew your license at the DMV, you will notice a section where you can become an organ donor. Last year, more than 800 Virginians received a life-saving organ transplant.

The DMV signed up 92 percent of the state's registered donors.

Frieda Booth-Pitts and Sondra Bloxom have worked at the DMV together for eleven years. In 2015, Booth-Pitts received some devastating news.

"I found out that my kidneys had failed, and I was going to need a donor," said Booth-Pitts.

That's when Bloxom stepped in. She got tested and was the perfect match for her friend, but then there was devastating news.

"They did the last test, which was the lung test, and at the time, I smoked," said Bloxom. "They told me that my lungs were not strong enough to have the surgery."

Determined to save her friend's life, Bloxom quit smoking, and eight months, later she was cleared for the transplant.

"We went in and had the story, so everything has gone pretty well," said Bloxom.

"I was blessed by her," said Booth-Pitts.

On Friday, Gov. Ralph Northam recognized the two DMV employees in honor of National Donate a Life Month.

"To have Virginians that are willing to donate organs and provide [a] continued life for us individuals is very powerful," said Gov. Northam.

National Donate a Life Month is a push for you to check yes, and become an organ donor.

"Once they hear a story, I think it grabs them more," said Booth-Pitts.

Looking to help the over 2,000 Virginians that are waiting for a life-saving organ transplant, Bloxom and Booth-Pitts don't shy away from sharing their story.

"I always let them know when I asked the question, it could be you because I never thought it was going to be me," said Booth-Pitts.

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