Wendy Marx Foundation
In addition to his work as a writer and a public speaker, Jeffrey Marx is co-founder and director of the non-profit Wendy Marx Foundation for Organ Donor Awareness. The foundation is named for his sister, a liver transplant recipient who parlayed her own health challenges into a powerful message of hope for others.
It all began in 1989, when Wendy was 22 years old. A severe case of Hepatitis B destroyed Wendy's liver, leaving her in a coma, and doctors told her family that she had only 24 hours to live. Then came the Gift of Life in the form of an organ donation and a successful transplant.
A few months later, Jeffrey and Wendy joined with Olympic champion Carl Lewis – with whom Jeffrey was writing a book – to create the Wendy Marx Foundation. The foundation has worked closely with groups such as the American Liver Foundation, the National Kidney Foundation and Transplant Recipients International Organization (TRIO). It has also conducted programs of its own in more than 20 states.
But the national waiting list for transplants keeps growing. Each day, on average, 19 people in the United States die waiting for a transplant, simply due to the shortage of donors. Wendy's words – "We can change that. We need to change that!" – still echo with urgency.
Unfortunately, though, Wendy is no longer able to deliver that message herself. The hepatitis that had destroyed her own liver once again attacked. Wendy needed another transplant. But this time a donor was never found. On October 28, 2003, Wendy Marx, 36 years old, a woman of passion and purpose, took her final breath.
Jeffrey Marx and the Wendy Marx Foundation will always continue her important work. And you can help, too. Please sign up to be an organ donor. And please remember to discuss your wishes with your family.
"I hope people have learned from me, not to take life for granted, to relish today. To get vaccinated for Hepatitis B, to sign an organ donor card. To be stubborn when it counts and to be honest always."
June 24, 1992