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Don't wait to be an organ donor

8:29 AM, Feb 14, 2014   |    comments
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DENVER - You can save a life today, while you are still alive.

Friday is National Organ Donation Day and, in honor of that, 9NEWS is highlighting the importance of living donation.

According to the American Transplant Foundation, 2,400 Coloradans are currently waiting for organ transplant. About 2,300 of those people need a kidney or liver. Both of those organs can be donated by someone who is still alive.

In 2010, Russ Cupps donated a kidney to someone he didn't even know, making him altruistic living kidney donor. Saving lives is something that just comes naturally to Cupps. He is also an engineer paramedic and member of the West Metro Fire Protection District.

"I have spent many years in the trenches as a firefighter and medic. It has been in this arena that I have come face to face with so many people that have been affected by transplant, or the need for transplant," Cupps said.

Cupps met the 22-year-old man who received his kidney shortly after surgery. The two have since forged a bond for life.

He continues to save lives as both a firefighter and an advocate for organ and tissue donation. Cupps currently serves as a Board Member of the American Transplant Foundation.

To find out how you can be a living donor, call the American Transplant Foundation at: 303-757-0959. You can also email Anastasia Darwish, executive director of the American Transplant Foundation: anastasia@americantransplantfoundation.org.

(KUSA-TV © 2014 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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