Blumberg off the Bench
Eric Sherron works as an exercise specialist at University Hospital. He sees patients in need of organ transplants, but he had no idea he would one day be of them. Eric Sherron is a swimmer and a weekend warrior, but in the summer of 2004 something didn't feel right.
"I didn't have any endurance whatsoever. I used to be able to run, ride my bike or swim however long I wanted to, but I just couldn't do any of that anymore," said Sherron.
In his first doctor appointment Sherron found out his life was about to change forever.
"He said how many family members do you have I asked why? He said you're going to need a transplant and fairly soon. I don't remember a lot after that," said Sherron.
His mom Linda was a match and donated her kidney so her son could keep on living.
"It's staggering. It's really a remarkable gift just to think that somebody would be willing to give that part of themselves," said Sherron.
Sherron competed in the World Transplant Games this summer in Thailand. A chance to see other transplant athletes but also people watching family live on in someone else.
"There were a lot of donor families down there to watch the girl who got their son's heart when he was in an accident. There were so many of those moments. It was heart wrenching," said Sherron.
At the games he played on the U.S. volleyball team and swam in four different swimming events.
"I got a silver medal in the 100 meter back stroke in which I set a world record by almost four seconds, but obviously if I got silver somebody did it faster," said Sherron.
In all he earned four silver medals and a bronze, a collection that symbolizes success for himself and his mom.
"I try to keep in mind that it is because somebody else was that generous. It motivates me to train harder and to compete as hard as I can," said Sherron.
Sherron still doesn't know for sure what caused his kidneys to fail.
He urges people to not just sign your organ donor card, but talk to your family about your wishes when it comes to organ donations. More than 90 thousand people nationwide are currently waiting for an organ donation.