I was relieved when the test results showed that none of my family members were a potential match for me. Receiving an organ from one of my siblings was not what I wanted to do.
It is amazing when I realize that the kidney from my donor has been with me for 40 years, since October 29, 1972, which is almost half of my life…..the better half. Since receiving my transplant I have been able to see my two children graduate from high school and go on to college, get married and parent my three grandchildren, giving me the opportunity to be involved in an interesting life with teenagers.
After a rewarding engineering career for the Air Force Research Laboratory, in the field of elevated temperature re-entry from space, I was able to have a second career in higher education as a professor at Central State and as Assistant Dean at Wright State University’s School of Engineering. I am most proud that the Wright Science, Technology, Engineering Pre-college Program (STEPP) that I designed and implemented in 1987 has provided training and scholarships for hundreds of inner-city high school students.
It is no accident that I am still active in sports. I have competed in 12 Dayton Senior Olympics and nine U S Transplant Games, against men many years younger than I.
I knowing that each day is a gift. For those who have been given more, more is expected, so I gladly serve with Life Connection in Dayton, Ohio, the Red Cross, the Optimist Club, Good Samaritan Hospital, the University of Cincinnati Foundation, Antioch University Midwest and a number of other community service organizations. I am fortunate to be here and to be able to give back, because I received the gift of life.
– Clark Beck, Kidney Transplant Recipient