Bill Bancroft2
Bill and Becky

Meeting someone with a connection to organ, eye, and tissue donation can be a common occurrence, but having multiple connections to donation is relatively rare. Bill Bancroft of Spokane Valley has four immediate connections to organ donation, and not a day goes on that he doesn’t think about the need for more registered donors in the United States.
Bill’s wife Becky received a liver transplant in 1996 after suffering for years from Hepatitis C, an infection caused by a virus that attacks the liver. Her condition had hit an all-time high in 1995, when her failing liver left her exhausted and out of character. Her active and cheerful self was replaced with someone who barely had the energy for anything, forcing her to quit her job at a landscaping company. The battle was not over after her transplant, follow up doctors’ visits and a careful diet became the new normal. 13 years later, Becky expressed that she was feeling dull, and she knew in her heart that her liver was beginning to fail. She was quickly listed for a second transplant, but the sicker and weaker she became the odds of surviving the transplant surgery dropped dramatically. On January 30, 2011 Becky lost the long battle with her disease. Bill feels adamantly that if there had been enough registered organ donors, Becky may still be alive today.

In addition to his wife’s experience with donation and transplantation, Bill’s brother, Chuck, received a liver transplant in 2003, and his cousin Kenny received a heart and lung transplant in 2006, though he passed away after contracting an infection. In 2009, after being listed on the lung transplant waiting list Bill’s sister, Carol, suffered a fatal heart attack. Though she never received her life-saving transplant, five people were saved through her gift of donation.
When asked what donation means to him, Bill replied, “The lives that can be saved and or enhanced by a simple act of kindness. Saying ‘YES’ to being a donor can never be over stated. I will continue to tell my story to everyone or anyone willing to listen, because if I can convince someone to become a donor who had previously been opposed, or simply was not aware of the impact they can have, then I will fulfill my promise to not only my family but to the tens of thousands of people waiting for the gift of life”.