Gift gives life

Published: Aug. 20, 2016 at 4:33 PM CDT
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It's hard to compete in sports if your heart is just not in it. Saturday's softball game between Papillion-La Vista and Millard West might not have included Tony DeGeorge watching daughter Nia catch for the Monarchs had it not been for a special gift.

Tony DeGeorge watched with pride. "Diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, an enlarged heart and dealt with not breathing right or feeling well for a few years." That was 10 years ago. With his heart in bad shape, Nia wanted to walk away from the game. "The gift that I had received from DeMarco and Margo, it's overwhelming at times."

Though Margo Redmon is from Kansas City, she's one of the Monarchs' fiercest fans. Her son DeMarco was shot and killed in 2006, the same year Tony's heart was failing. DeMarco's heart was donated so Tony could live. "I had only one request, that the man that got his heart was a father and that could be a father to his children and a husband to his wife," says Margo.

"I'm just thankful for each day, the gift of just today, the gift of just this moment," says Tony, who'll soon be watching Nia play for Concordia University in Chicago.

Tony and Margo are hoping others will step up to the plate to become organ donors. They passed around a bucket collecting donations during the game, all in the name of organ donation.

Another Monarch player kept a close eye on the ball. "Playing sports, being able to see pretty much or else I'd be a little blind." Senior pitcher Clara Dargy is thankful to see thanks to a cornea transplant.

Approximately 120,000 people in the United States are on the waiting list for an organ transplant. On average, another person is added every 10 minutes. Due to the shortage of registered organ donors, about 22 people die each day waiting for their transplant. One organ, eye and tissue donor can save and heal more than 50 lives. To register as a donor, visit