A sports-fanatic, Ron Gooden grew up an extremely active kid. While he has picked up sports like tennis and golf over the years, football has always been his first love. Ron has been a high school football coach for over 25 years now and has developed a new appreciation for the sport by coaching young athletes to reach their full potential.
In 2011, Ron sadly was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy and was placed on the heart transplant list. Shortly after, he proposed to his girlfriend of 8 years. They planned to have a small family wedding later that month, but just days before the wedding he received a phone call from his heart transplant coordinator – they had found a new heart for him. Realizing he would finally have the opportunity to live the life of his dreams again, Ron was overwhelmed with emotions.
With his new heart, Ron now gets to live his life to the fullest as a husband, father, and coach. He was finally able to marry the love of his life, has had the opportunity to watch his kids walk during their graduation, and gets to continue his passion of coaching youth football. With the gift of a new heart, Ron now sees life from a whole new perspective as he gets to experience adventures he once thought were no longer possible. He is thankful every day for his donor family and the second chance he was given by their generosity. “Their legacy lives within me, and that will always be respected and honored,” he says. Ron now plans on pursuing another life passion by volunteering with CORE to spread the importance of organ donation by sharing his personal story.
Register today to be an organ donor and your story goes on and on.