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Colorado man alive thanks to organ donors now devotes life to teaching others about donation

Posted at 6:02 PM, Dec 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-28 22:57:29-05

DENVER -- It's the season of giving and it's hard to imagine anything better than the gift of life. Right now, there are currently more than 2,500 Coloradans waiting for an organ transplant.

Jeff Leone used to be one of them, as he's received a kidney transplant twice.

The first time was from a 23-year-old who was killed in a car accident. That difficult experience has pushed Leone to become an advocate for Donate Life Colorado. He also teaches transplantation science classes to middle school and high school students.

"For me, the ability to bring in my personal connection, it really anchors it for the kids a lot better. And I’ll return to a school and hear a student say, ‘oh, when I went to get the driver's license, I said yes because of when you came and taught us last year,’ so that's really nice to hear," said Leone.

Leone will represent Colorado and ride the annual Donate Life Float in the annual Tournament of Roses parade on New Year’s Day in California, alongside other donor recipients and families of deceased donors.

For more information on deceased organ donations visit the Donate Life Colorado website.