Hit the links, support organ donation

n Story of heart transplant recipient inspires Lena course to offer specials for organ donors

In a show of support for organ donation, Wolf Hollow Golf Course in Lena, Ill., is offering a golf special from now until the end of season to all golfers who present a driver’s license as evidence of their intent to be an organ donor.

Jim Wachlin received a heart transplant at the University of Wisconsin Hospital in Madison, Wis., on May 8, 2000, after spending 15 months on the transplant waiting list. Wachlin, having suffered his first heart attack in 1981, was in need of the greatest gift of all.

An avid golfer, Wachlin, despite his weakened state, failing health and need for oxygen and nitroglycerin, was on the course when one of the transplant center calls came. After finishing the hole, he proceeded to call his wife, and off to Madison they went.

Wachlin, his wife Eleanor, children and grandchildren, celebrate his health, embrace his second chance, and honor his donor and her family. This past spring, after having communicated via e-mail for some time, Wachlin’s donor family traveled to Lena where the two families spent an emotional and rewarding weekend.

In an effort to heighten awareness of the importance of donation, Wachlin has shared his story at a number of public speaking engagements and has most recently been the subject of a three-part article in a Freeport newspaper. Eleanor, sporting a convertible in local parades, can be seen traveling with their grandchildren, who carry signs reading “Grandpa had a change of Heart—say ‘yes’ to donation.”

Wachlin remains passionate about golf, is a founding member of Wolf Hollow, the newest golf course in Lena, and is quite proud of bringing home a championship trophy a mere four months post-transplant. Just this summer on June 23, Jim Wachlin shot a hole-in-one on No. 14 at Wolf Hollow Golf Course, a 145-yard par-3 hole. His weapons—a new heart and an 8 iron. The third hole-in-one of Wachlin’s career, his first post-transplant!

In support and celebration of both Jim and organ donation, Wolf Hollow is pleased to offer a special to all golfers showing evidence (signed driver’s license) of their intent to be an organ donor.

For more information, contact the Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network at 961-8214.

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