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Johns Creek resident Kirk Franz has helped raise more than $75,000 for the Georgia Transplant Foundation through a local golf tournament.

Organizers of the annual Swing Easy Hit Hard Foundation’s Charity Golf Tournament and Dinner Banquet said the recent event was a success — an effort created by Emory Healthcare liver transplant recipient and Johns Creek man Kirk Franz.

Proceeds for the yearly tournament benefit the Georgia Transplant Foundation. Following the recent event, funds raised were estimated by Franz at more than $75,000, “and we hope to continue to do more to support the (foundation) and Emory Transplant Center,” he said.

According to Donate Life America, every 10 minutes another person is added to the national transplant waiting list. April is national Donate Life Month which helps encourage Americans to register as organ, eye or tissue donors to help save lives.

Franz knows firsthand the impact donors make. In 2009, doctors diagnosed him with a rare liver disease and bile duct cancer.

After Franz recovered from his liver transplant, he searched for ways to create awareness about organ donation and to give back. He created the Swing Easy Hit Hard Foundation and organized the annual charity golf tournament to raise funds for people who need an organ transplant.

“I had to undergo six weeks of chemotherapy and radiation at Winship, before I was placed on the transplant list,” said Franz, who is also the recreation manager for the City of Johns Creek.

“I’m very blessed to have been diagnosed quickly and in Metro Atlanta,” Franz said. “If this happened 15 or 20 years ago, I wouldn’t be a candidate for a transplant due to my condition and likely would’ve had to travel for my treatment.”

Franz said he’s truly grateful for the organ donor who gave him a second chance.

“Organ donation is that one final gift or blessing that you can give someone and really change their lives forever,” Franz said.

For more information about being an organ donor in Georgia, visit www.donatelifegeorgia.org.

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