‘You Can’t Give Anything Greater Than Life:’ Betty and Erin’s Story

Many of us spend more time with co-workers than we do with our own families. Work colleagues often become friends who support us and stand ready to lend a helping hand. Erin and Betty are co-workers who shared a life-changing experience.

After learning that Betty was on the liver transplant waiting list, Erin made it her mission to help by becoming Betty’s living liver donor.

Find out more about living-donor liver donation at UPMC. 

With more than 15,000 people currently on the liver transplant waiting list — many in desperate need of a transplant — the need for organ donors grows every day.

Unfortunately, those who do not have a living donor must wait until a deceased donor organ becomes available. With a living-donor liver transplant, patients like Betty can receive a transplant while they are relatively healthy. Other benefits for living donor organ recipients include faster recovery times and improved long-term outcomes.

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Erin realized how urgently her friend needed help and decided to undergo testing to determine if she could donate a portion of her liver to save her friend’s life. Luckily for Betty, Erin was a perfect match.

RELATED: How to Talk to People About Becoming a Living Donor

“I didn’t realize that my liver could regenerate,” says Erin. “And I feel that’s important for people to understand because it allowed me to give a part of myself to Betty.”

To help raise awareness of the need for living donors, Erin carried a special liver pillow with her while she ran errands.

When people asked about the pillow, she told her story and encouraged them to become living donors.

“It’s another way of making people aware,” says Betty.

After going through the transplant journey together, Erin and Betty agree that living donation has changed their perspective on life. “You can’t give anything greater than life. And that’s what this is all about — life,” says Betty.

About Transplant Services

Established in 1981, UPMC Transplant Services is one of the foremost organ transplant centers in the world. Our clinicians have performed more than 20,000 organ transplant procedures, including liver, kidney, pancreas, single and double lung, heart, and more. We are home to some of the world’s foremost transplant experts and have a long history of developing new antirejection therapies—so organ recipients can enjoy better health with fewer restrictions.