31 Days of CF: Dancing to Advocate for Organ Donation

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by BNS Staff |

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31 Days of CF

Photo courtesy of Marquita Redd

Day 8 of 31

This is Marquita Redd’s story:

My name is Marquita, and I am an advocate for organ donation. My father had a liver transplant when I was 15 years old. When I was 17, right before I entered college, I was diagnosed with primary sclerosing cholangitis, a rare liver disease.

I was determined to finish college and start a career as a professional dancer, and I did. I went on to dance professionally in Philadelphia, Memphis, and Milwaukee. I later obtained a master of fine arts in dance.

After graduate school, my health declined quickly. I was placed on the waitlist for a liver transplant. On Dec. 1, 2016, I received the gift of life. I spent about one month at a recovery house where I met other people who received organ transplants. I met individuals who received or needed double lung transplants as a result of having cystic fibrosis. 

Since receiving a liver transplant, I use various platforms to advocate for organ donation. I started Redd Arts Company, a non-profit dance company, using dance to raise awareness about the need for organ donation. I also volunteer with organizations, such as Lifelink of Georgia, that spread awareness about organ donation.

Currently an elementary school dance teacher, I am transitioning into a career in social work so that I can be a mental health counselor for people struggling with chronic illness. I would like to become a social worker on a transplant team. Lastly, I have a Reiki energy healing business, MJ Healing Studio, and I offer special treatments for members of the organ transplant community.

Cystic Fibrosis News Today’s 31 Days of CF campaign will publish one story per day for Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Month in May. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more stories like this, using the hashtag #31DaysofCF, or go here to see the full series.