David Costello

David Costello is most comfortable standing on the top of a mountain, taking a deep breath, and heading into the fresh powder.

David Costello is not comfortable standing still. Waiting. But that’s his life now: he needs a transplant, and he might wait many more years for that lifesaving gift.

Waiting is not living; it is a pause before the rest of your life begins.

David was just 21 when he was diagnosed with two serious illnesses: Crohn’s Disease and Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis.

Doctors told him that he would eventually need a transplant. David knew what the word “transplant” meant in a way that few others do; a childhood friend received several transplants and later David’s father would wait almost five years for a heart and kidney transplant.

He knew what the waitlist was, and what a transplant meant on the other side. Someone would be his hero, his donor.

With the college degrees and skills he had learned, David was on his own in Montana working as a ski lift technician—a job and a life he loved. His favorite part of the day was waking up early and watching the sun rise up and over the mountain, while the wind rushed at his face and his board sliced the snow. No waiting at the lift, he could just ride.

Eventually, David’s illnesses progressed to the point that he entered major organ failure. He nearly died. With great care and strength, he recovered enough to be placed on the waitlist for a liver transplant, where he still waits today.

David is not comfortable standing still.

He hopes for the day when the phone rings, and that ring will mean his life will be saved. He thinks, too, about the loss another family will suffer. He already thinks—in the quiet moments—how, if he is lucky enough to receive this precious gift, what he will do to honor the one who will give.

And he waits.