From Transplant Recipient to Transplant Ambassador
Apr 04, 2017 Cedars-Sinai Staff
At 57, Yvonne Dove was diagnosed with liver cancer.
The mother of 4 and grandmother of 7 said she was devastated. "I went home and started crying. Then I realized there was nothing I could do about it but fight to stay on Earth, and that’s what I did," she said.
Shortly after the diagnosis, Yvonne was put on the transplant list. In 2012, 2½ years after being added to the list, she received a new liver at the Cedars-Sinai Comprehensive Transplant Center.
At the time of her transplant, Yvonne said she had many fears but relied on her faith, her support group, and her care team at Cedars-Sinai to get her through.
"I realized there was nothing I could do about it but fight."
Earlier this year, Yvonne represented Cedars-Sinai at the 129th annual Rose Parade. She was one of 24 transplant recipients from across the country picked to ride on the Donate Life float, which honors recipients as well as organ donors.
"We look for someone that has embraced their transplant and how they give back to the community and inspire others to say 'yes' to organ donation," said Lisa Rhodes, senior administrative associate, explaining the selection process for the Cedars-Sinai float rider.
Yvonne certainly embodies that spirit. Once she was healthy again, she was determined to give back. For the past three years, Yvonne has been a transplant ambassador at Cedars-Sinai, helping patients with emotional and practical support before and after transplant.
"When I was going through the process, I had a woman named Mary who did that for me. I will never forget her, and I wanted to do the same for others."
"When I was going through the process, I had a woman named Mary who did that for me," she said. "I will never forget her, and I wanted to do the same for others."
Since receiving her donor liver, Yvonne has had a clean bill of health. "Not even a cold! The transplant changed everything, from the way I eat to my outlook on life," she said.
Throughout Donate Life Month, we'll be sharing the stories of Cedars-Sinai transplant patients like Yvonne.