Chris stated that James was unhappy with having to
receive dialysis. She remembered the time when James
was asked to draw a picture of his favorite hobby.
James instead drew a picture of his "arm with two
dialysis lines sticking out." James later explained
to his mother that this was not his favorite hobby
but instead all it seemed he was able to do.
James was 13 years old when he did receive his kidney
transplant. His mother said he loved to play tennis
and dreamed of competing at Wimbeldon one day. Following
the transplant, James was full of hope and promise.
Chris still remembers the day her son said; "I have
a life again!"
As was said at the start of this article, invariably
life can and will throw some curve balls. Three years
later, James suddenly became acutely ill. After multiple
tests and a "brain scan," James was declared dead
on May 5, 1996. Having first hand knowledge regarding
the importance and need for organ and tissue donation,
Chris consented to donation.
Chris describes herself as an active member of the
Donor Network of Arizona and is a strong advocate
for organ and tissue donation and transplantation.
"My son has given sight to two people and lives on
in some way. After all, we can't use the organs after
we die," said Chris. Chris has also contributed a
panel section on the donor quilt to honor her son
Chris is attending the 2000 U.S. Transplant Games
as a member of Team Arizona with her mother, Margaret
Knattrup. This is Margaret's first time to the Transplant
Games. Chris said that her mother, who will turn 85
this July 20, was so excited after watching the opening
ceremonies she used a word Chris had never heard her
"It was awesome!"
Even having been involved in several Transplant
Games, Chris is still overwhelmed when she sees all
the donor families and recipients, having lived on
both sides of the fence.