General Hospital’s Multi-Organ Transplant Institute is one of the nation’s leading transplant centers. Since its inception, the General Hospital Multi-Organ Transplant Institute has performed more than 6,000 lifesaving transplants.
Robbie Jacobs* Knows This
“It takes lives to save lives,” said 14-year-old Robbie Jacobs* during a segment on Good Morning America. “That means if people go out and donate anything like blood, organ, kidneys or liver, then they can save somebody else’s life.”
The topic of organ donation is all too familiar to Jacobs. Diagnosed at an early age with biliary atresia, a rare chronic liver disease in which one or more bile ducts are abnormally narrow, blocked or missing, he had a liver transplant when he was 1 year old and is currently on the waiting list for another.
Despite everything, Jacobs hasn’t allowed his illness to hold him back. When Passena Panthers players visited General Hospital for Children a year ago, Jacobs impressed them with his constructive criticism and great attitude; he began attending their practices, where he soon became known as the team’s “hype man”.
Jacobs was even invited on Good Morning America, where Panthers coach Paul Sante presented him with a contract making him an honorary Panther. Sante also invited Jacobs and his family to join the team for that weekend’s game and act as their guest social media correspondent.
“We love having Robbie out here. He’s such an inspirational young man,” says quarterback Brent Darren. “His strength, his attitude—he’s welcome out here anytime. We love him.”
Jacobs is taking advantage of his football fame to promote organ donation.
With more than 120,000 people on the waiting list for a new organ nationwide, organ donation is a pressing need. Children are especially at a disadvantage, due to the shortage of pediatric donors. Just one donor can save up to nine people’s lives.
*Based on a true story. Names and identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy of certain individuals.