Cameron Bean's mother speaks about importance of organ donation - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Cameron Bean's mother speaks about importance of organ donation

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April is National Donate Life Month, a time to honor the uncountable lives touched by organ, eye, and tissue donations. Erlanger joins thousands of hospitals across the US recognizing those donors. Friday, one of the donors being honored is Cameron Bean. 

Bean was a local athlete killed late last year. His family is being recognized for saving 5 lives by donating his liver, kidneys, lungs, and his heart.

Natalie Cothran wakes up every morning thankful for a healthy kidney.  She got a second chance of life in 1992 after going into kidney failure. “I was beginning to move slower, I wasn't eating well. My skin was getting even darker. It was depressing,” said kidney recipient. She was a young mother of two, basketball coach, and high school teacher fighting to keep it all together. “If you can stay as positive as possible, with a great support system, and do everything the doctor tells you, then there is hope for all of us.”

HOW TO HELP | Donate Life Tennessee website

It's hope that thousands of people share while waiting for a donor. A donor like Cameron Bean, a young healthy athlete killed in September by a distracted driver. “He donated to five different people. Four men,1 lady. His heart, both his kidneys, liver. We are just so thankful that in this tragedy we were able to help somebody,” said Cameron Bean’s mother, Lisa Bean.

READ MORE | Steve Bean completes Ironman one day after burying son

The organ donation flag flies outside Erlanger Hospital as a reminder to the families of loved ones who have donated and to those grateful to have a second chance at life.  “He was just a giving person. I told early on if we had not donated and when we met in heaven.. he would of asked us why we didn't, we're secure in our decision.”

“I wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for someone signing that organ registry,” said Cothran.

More than 121,000 people in the United States are waiting for life saving organ transplants. More 2,800 of those live in Tennessee. 

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