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Legacy of Duffy Collins now in U.S. House

April 22, 2015
In The News

Duffy Collins’ legacy is poised to go national with the introduction of a bill in the U.S. House.

Collins, of Burlington, died at 28 in 2005 from an autoimmune disease that destroyed his kidneys. He couldn’t use a kidney from a family member, and he died before he could get one through the transplant waiting list.

Bruce and Mary Jo Collins started the Duffy Collins Organ Transplant Foundation in their son’s memory to help organ transplant recipients with medical bills not covered by insurance, and expenses such as anti-rejection drugs.

The foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, also encourages North Carolinians to register as organ donors.

Two years ago, Gov. Pat McCrory signed the bill creating “Duffy’s Law,” which proclaims April as Organ Donation Awareness Month in North Carolina.

Now, U.S. Rep. Mark Walker, R-N.C., has introduced House Resolution 197, which expresses support for designating April as Organ Donation Awareness/Donate Life Month.

“It is a testament to the love of parents and the Collins family that they have taken a tragedy and worked tirelessly to create a legacy for their son,” Walker said.

The bill has been referred to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

“Designating April to raise awareness about organ donation could help save thousands of precious lives and spare families the tragedy we experienced,” Mary Jo Collins said. This legislation highlights the national importance of organ donation and is our way of keeping the memory of Duffy alive.”

“Raising awareness of organ donation efforts at the federal level is a small but significant step towards expanding the lifesaving possibilities of organ donation and transplants,” Walker said. “In the 6th District, we have all seen the pain and loss resulting from a lack of transplant participation. The example of Duffy Collins, a 28-year-old Alamance County resident who died in 2005 because he could not get a kidney transplant, shows why raising awareness is so vitally important.”

The annual golf tournament to raise money for the Duffy Collins Organ Transplant Foundation is 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 23 at Indian Valley Golf Club, 1005 Indian Valley Drive, Burlington.

Also that day is Duffy’s Charity Ride Poker Run. Registration is 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Down Home Harley-Davidson, 2215 Hanford Road, Burlington. Kickstands go up at 1 p.m.

An after-party is planned until 11 p.m. with food, raffles and live music at Lucky’s Saloon, 1453 Industry Drive, Burlington.

To register or for more information, call Mary Jo Collins at 336-446-4267, or Jimmy Aiken at 380-0423.

For more information on Duffy Collins and the foundation, visitwww.duffycollinsfoundation.org.