Racing Against Time :foreword
by Jim Nabors

On May 10, 1994, I gave what might well have been the most significant performance of my life. Countless times I had sung "The Impossible Dream" around the world to wonderfully varied, appreciative audiences.

But with that day's audience I shared a most unique, nearly incomprehensible bond. The occasion was the first reunion of the UCLA Organ Transplant recipients including all those fortunate patients who had received the gift of life in the form of a donor liver, kidney, heart, or lung. On February 7 1994, after years of deteriorating health in which chronic hepatitis B inexorably destroyed my liver, I received the critical life saving organ. My first recollection of that profound rebirth was the joyous sound of nurses' laughter as the tube leading to my mouth from my lungs was removed. I was asked to speak. By reflex or force of habit (I don't recall saying it), I blurted out "Shazam". Jim Nabors a.k.a. Gomer Pyle was back among the living.

Throughout my illness I continued to sing with great symphonies. Entertaining around the world gave me great pleasure amid the maelstrom of a serious affliction. Performing may have drowned out the frightening notion of my nearing demise and reminded me that my life still had a purpose. Hope, laughter, and strong friendships, I have learned, are powerful antidotes even in the face of a terminal illness.

When prestigious medical centers evaluated my case as bleak and incurable, my dear friend Carol Burnett scoured the country for the seemingly nonexistent cure. Ironically the school from which Carol attended, UCLA, became our oasis of hope and solution. The UCLA Medical Center's Liver Transplant Program has been online since 1984 with ever increasing successes.

Today I have a new life, a time to reflect, perform, and give back to my fellow transplant candidates and the general public by raising the donor organ conscience of our nation. Dr. Ronald Busuttil, whose forward you are about to read, developed and directs the liver transplant program of UCLA. I call him "Saint Ron". His brilliance, compassion and foresight saved Tony Anjoubault, myself and countless other patients.

personal note by sports legend
Chris Evert

medical commentary by
director of the UCLA liver transplantation
& chief of surgery
Dr Ronald W Busuttil

  You are about to read a suspenseful, harrowing, nearly two decade account of one man's determined effort to believe in the future, and in one's own strength and fortitude. Tony Anjoubault, his brave wife, and I met that serene May day at UCLA. We have traveled above a most dangerous chasm holding tenaciously to the most tenuous of life lines. We have both met overwhelming challenges and learned much about the human spirit and we have been humbled in the process as to our purpose in life and deeply moved by the mysterious fragility and resilience of life itself.



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