Hundreds Sharing the Gift of Life

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KNOEBELS AMUSEMENT RESORT -- Steve Story of the Dallas area never thought he would need an organ transplant, but a little less than a year ago, his world changed.

"I've been diabetic for 40 years and it just so happens my kidney failed on it."

That's when his fiancée Melinda Smith stepped in.

"I thought, well, I'm going to get tested right away," said Smith, noting that she turned out to be a match.

The transplant was successful which brought the couple closer together.

That's only one story out of hundreds of kidney and liver transplants done at Geisinger Medical Center near Danville.

This group of close to 500 people represents that. Most of them are organ donors and recipients. This is Geisinger's annual transplant picnic at Knoebels Amusement Resort.

"To be able to give the gift of life to my dad, it's just really special," said Amy Britton.

Britton donated a kidney to her father Bob Ritter.

"This happened on January 29 of 2016 and everything is going well," said Ritter.

People say one of the highlights of this event is seeing their doctors because they become like family to them.

"You really do feel like family. When I come in for my six-month appointments, everyone says, 'Oh, Amy is here. I saw your dad,'" said Britton.

Transplant patients and doctors enjoyed reuniting at this picnic.

"We follow our patients forever. So they do become part of our family. It's a great ever-growing family," said transplant director Dr. Michael Marvin.

After the picnic, attendees got to experience all that Knoebels has to offer, including the rides.