Major League Baseball Veteran David Eckstein Spending His 40th Birthday to Raise $40,000 for Organ Transplant House at Florida Hospital

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Two-time World Series champion and 2006 World Series MVP has a history of family members who have received kidney transplants and who have donated their kidneys

MLB veteran David Eckstein during his time with the World Series winning St. Louis Cardinals.

“When I found out that my siblings had kidney disease, I wished that I could trade places with them,” said Eckstein. "Our family was separated during the treatments and transplants. I want to help other families who are going through a similar experience.

MLB veteran David Eckstein, who beat the odds, regardless of his smaller size, and became one of the league’s most successful shortstops and second basemen during his 10-year professional baseball career (including 2006 World Series MVP), is stepping up to the plate on yet another goal near and dear to his heart. He is spending his 40th birthday raising $40,000 dollars to assist in the building of the new Transplant House at Florida Hospital via a special Crowdrise fundraiser campaign and he is encouraging people to donate here. The Transplant House at Florida Hospital will be a “home away from home” for patients and their families to stay in the Central Florida area while their loved one is receiving a transplant or treatment for an organ donation.

Organ donation is a way of life for Eckstein's family. Four of his family members have received kidney transplants and three additional family members have donated their kidneys. It’s been said that “you either give a kidney or get a kidney” in the Eckstein clan. Living in Sanford, Florida, when first diagnosed in the 80’s, Eckstein’s family had to travel to Gainesville for their kidney treatments and transplants. Eckstein’s mother, Patricia, and grandmother were not able to stay at home. Today, families come from all over to the Florida Hospital for organ donation treatment with no place to stay. The new Organ Transplant House will become a home away from home for these “transplanted” families. Throughout his baseball career, with teams like the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the St. Louis Cardinals, Eckstein continuously promoted and raised awareness for Organ Donation and continues to bring awareness to this cause which has saved his family. Now, he is matching up his 40th birthday to raise $40,000 for the Transplant House at Florida Hospital and he needs your help.

“When I found out that my siblings had kidney disease, I wished that I could trade places with them, I wished that it had happened to me,” said David Eckstein. “I hated watching my siblings going through everything. I had to stay home while they went to Gainesville and our family was separated during the treatments and transplants. It was a scary time. I want to help other families who are going through a similar experience.”

For the last several years, Eckstein has been devoting his time away from baseball to the business that he and his wife, actress Ashley Eckstein (the voice of Ahsoka Tano on Star Wars: The Clone Wars), founded in 2010 called Her Universe. The groundbreaking company produces sci-fi fashion apparel for fangirls. Ashley Eckstein, who has supported the Organ Donation cause herself, hopes to encourage Star Wars and sci-fi fans to help David reach his $40,000 goal for his 40th birthday and donate to the Crowdrise fundraiser campaign.

“Before I met David, I knew very little about Organ Donation,” related Ashley Eckstein. “Now it’s become a huge part of my life. I’ve seen firsthand how it affects the entire family. The Organ Transplant House will provide a safe haven and a sense of stability during a tumultuous time. We appreciate anything that you can donate to this great cause.”

The Florida Hospital Transplant Institute has been providing whole person care to transplant patients since 1973. Florida Hospital has performed more than 3,575 kidney transplants, placing them in the top 10% of transplant programs in the United States (for the number of total transplants performed, according to UNOS). Their transplant team – comprised of experienced transplant physicians, expert nursing teams, and tissue typing experts- currently performs kidney, liver, pancreas, and heart transplants. The Transplant House on the Orlando campus will provide a caring environment and offer high quality, affordable accommodations for patients and their adult family members/caregivers. In addition to physical lodging, the House will offer hospitality, compassion and hope to support the healing journey for the patient and family. The Transplant House will enable Florida Hospital to continue to provide quality care throughout the entire transplant process, allowing patients and their families to have the best opportunity for a successful long term outcome. The plan is to break ground on this new home in June of 2015. If you would like to donate to David Eckstein’s 40th birthday Crowdrise fundraiser campaign to raise $40,000 for the Transplant House at Florida Hospital please visit the site here.

You can also write a check to:

Kathy Turner
Florida Hospital Foundation
2710 N. Orange Avenue, Suite 100
Orlando, FL 32804

Please write the Eckstein Family Account in the memo line.

Florida Hospital Foundation Tax ID #59-2219301

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Ryan Gleichowski
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