Christopher Woody is passionate about increasing support for organ donation within the Black community, and he doesn’t have to look far for a great story to drive the message home. Christopher donated a kidney to a teenage cousin in 2013. Now, he’s being evaluated as a potential partial liver donor.
He frequently speaks out about his experiences and has even been featured on NASCAR driver Joey Gase’s Donate Life vehicle, making Christopher the first living donor to have his picture on a stock car. All that has helped position him as a face of donation within his community, a responsibility he’s happy to take on. “You hear about people being organ donors as far as the driver’s license,” Christopher said. “But to actually see one that you can touch, that you can talk to and pick up the phone and call – it makes a big difference.”
Christopher’s journey with donation started when he began volunteering for the United Network for Organ Sharing in his hometown of Richmond, Virginia. Learning more about transplantation inspired him to step up when his cousin, Tyshawn Morris, needed a kidney. Christopher was thrilled when they turned out to be a match. Even more inspiring was Tyshawn’s quick recovery following the surgery. His physical symptoms diminished quickly, and today, he’s thriving.
Now, Christopher is hoping to complete his partial liver transplant by the end of the year. He would prefer the recipient to be a child or teenager so his gift can enable them to have a fuller life. “I want to help somebody walk across the stage to graduate,” he said. “It will also make a difference for somebody’s family because these are milestones every parent wants to see.”
He believes that everyone can take something from his act of kindness, even if they don’t choose to follow his exact path. “Everybody needs help, even the best of us,” Christopher said. “Imagine if every person just helped somebody else – somebody outside of your inner circle. The world would never go without.”
When he’s not spreading the word about donation, Christopher stays busy advancing the cause of his own nonprofit, The Woody Foundation, which supports underprivileged inner-city youths. In addition, he works at a nursing home and a psychiatric center. Christopher has also supported LifeNet Health’s One Hero campaign, which advocates for organ and tissue donation within the Black community.
In his spare time, he enjoys dancing, fishing, and spending time with his 11-year-old son.