York County native encourages organ
donation as national spokeswoman

Valen Keefer (Photo courtesy of http://ukrocharity.org)

Back in 2009, Smart featured the inspiring story of a Dover woman.

At the age of 10, Valen Cover Keefer was diagnosed with Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD), which affects 12.5 million people around the world.

When she was 19, Keefer had both of her kidneys removed and received a transplant from a donor.

She went on to found the South Central Chapter of the PKD Foundation and was the subject of Dennis McCloskey’s book “My Favorite American.”

The daughter Bill and Pam Cover of Manchester, Keefer, now 29, is now living in Sacramento, Calif.

She was recently selected by Donate Life America as one of 12 Women of 2012 to be the face of its “20 Million in 2012″ campaign. The group hopes to inspire 20 million people to sign up as organ and tissue donors this year.

Keefer says of the honor: “I am thrilled to have this national platform to use my story to help encourage 20 million people to sign up as organ donors in 2012.”

Keefer has also been named the national spokeswoman for University Kidney Research Organization. Read more about her story on the UKRO website.

April Trotter

Editor of Smart. NEPA transplant. Penn State and Shippensburg grad. Kickball and craft beer enthusiast. Collector of cardigans. "Bennie and the Jets" fanatic. Contact me at atrotter@ydr.com, at "Smart magazine" on Facebook, @SmartMagPA on Twitter or by phone at 717-771-2030.

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