Nicholas Bonelli

"I felt like I finally got my life back."

My name is Nicholas Bonelli and I am 19 years old. I had my liver transplant on April 4th, 2001.
When I was 13 years old my family and I all got the flu. They all got better, but I got worse and worse. I was taken to several hospitals who told me it would go away. But I never grew out of it.

We finally found a doctor figured out that whatever it was, it was attacking my liver. They tried every test they could but never found out exactly what it was. My doctor put me on high doses of pregnizone but all it did was prolong the inevitable.

In November of 2001 I was put on the waiting list for a transplant and five months later I got my new liver from a 19 year old woman from Dallas, Texas.

It took me 6 months to fully recover but after I recovered I felt like I finally got my life back. I started playing soccer, which I couldn't do while I was sick. I started riding my motorcycle and my wakeboard and most of all I felt like a real person again. I went out with my friends and regained my social life.

Since then my #1 goal has been to further awareness of organ donation and transplantation to teenagers and adults. I tell my story to anyone who wants to hear. In doing so, I hope to inspire them to choose to become donors.