Edward Drake was an active 20-year-old at the height of his athletic career and living out his dream, playing collegiate football. His life changed, when during a routine physical, doctors were alarmed by his dangerously low blood pressure and rushed him to the emergency room. Edward went from the football field to the hospital bed after doctors diagnosed him with end-stage Renal Disease or kidney failure.
Within weeks, Edward was adjusting to the routine of dialysis and his name was placed on the waiting list for a kidney transplant. He attended dialysis three times a week and was unable to resume the physical activities he enjoyed so much. In the early weeks of his diagnosis, Edward questioned why he was chosen to fight this battle. But as time passed, he began to rethink the curve life had thrown him and instead of focusing on “Why me?” he thought, “Why not me?” and a new dream was formed.
“The pain, fear, and confusion of my diagnosis, along with my passion to help youth like myself, inspired me to form the YNOTT Foundation: Youth Needing Organ and Tissue Transplants,” said Edward.
“The YNOTT Foundation is dedicated to raising donor awareness, educating our youth on healthy habits, and assisting youth and their families emotionally and financially. It is our goal to decrease the total number of deaths, yearly, of individuals in need of transplants nationwide, caused by lack of donors". On October 8, 2008, Edward received his life-changing call that a kidney was available to him. He not only received a new kidney but a new outlook on life. Each day, Edward is encouraged by the legacy of his donor and knows together we can all make a difference.