Legacy of Duffy Collins now in U.S. House
Duffy Collinsâ€™ 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 couldnâ€™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 sonâ€™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 â€œDuffyâ€™s Law,â€ 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.
â€œIt 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,â€ Walker said.
The bill has been referred to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
â€œDesignating April to raise awareness about organ donation could help save thousands of precious lives and spare families the tragedy we experienced,â€ Mary Jo Collins said. This legislation highlights the national importance of organ donation and is our way of keeping the memory of Duffy alive.â€
â€œRaising 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,â€ Walker said. â€œIn 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.â€
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 Duffyâ€™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 Luckyâ€™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.