Four years ago, a genetic disease left Grove City resident Andy Furr with only one hope for survival: a liver transplant.

Four years ago, a genetic disease left Grove City resident Andy Furr with only one hope for survival: a liver transplant.

Today Furr, 46, is alive and well and is spreading the word about organ donation through Lifeline of Ohio's "Live On. Ride On." campaign.

In July 2006, Furr, coordinator for Grove City Town Center Inc., began showing symptoms of cirrhosis of the liver. He fell into a coma for several days in September 2006. By December, he was evaluated for placement on a transplant list.

He was placed on the list Feb. 7. He soon was moved to the top of that list because his kidneys were failing. Doctors told him he'd have to start dialysis in about a month.

Then he would be considered for a double transplant of liver and kidneys.

About 110,000 people in the United States are on that list, and 18 Americans die every day while waiting for a transplant, according to information from Lifeline of Ohio, which promotes and coordinates organ and tissue donation throughout the state. About 3,300 people in Ohio are waiting for transplants.

"On Feb. 21 at 11:34 p.m., I received a call that a liver was available for me," Furr said. "We rushed to Cleveland in a massive snowstorm. The next morning at 5 a.m., I was taken upstairs and prepped for surgery. I woke up two days later feeling absolutely fantastic."

Furr said he has had no complications since his transplant. He's written numerous letters to the family of his donor thanking them, but hasn't heard from them yet.

"I'm very grateful," Furr said. "It meant being able to live to see my kids graduate and see my kids live their lives, to continue to support my wife."

Furr said he first learned of Lifeline when doing research about his surgery. Afterward, he was asked to speak at a Grove City Rotary meeting on behalf of the nonprofit. "(They) didn't really have to convince me," Furr said of his work with the group.

Furr has been a key part of Lifeline's "Live On. Ride On." campaign to sign up motorcyclists as organ donors, said Lifeline media relations coordinator Rachel Lewis.

"(He's) really been integral to the campaign," Lewis said. "We want (motorcyclists) to understand that by being a registered donor, they're heroes."

About 90 percent of Ohioans support organ donation, but only about 50 percent are registered donors, Lewis said.

"Sharing stories like (Furr's) can help bridge that gap," she said.

Furr, a lifelong motorcycle enthusiast, said he always enjoys manning the Lifeline table at events.

"It's been fantastic. I don't think I've been to one ever where we haven't signed anyone up," he said. "We don't have anybody that ever turns us down. ... We just know that we're going to get that positive feedback."

Furr's son also carries the gene for the disease that destroyed Furr's liver. One day, he may need a lung or liver transplant.

Furr will promote "Live On. Ride On." at two upcoming Grove City events. Motorcycle Sunday is scheduled for May 15 at Grove City United Methodist Church, 2650 Columbus St. The Grove City Biker Blessing will be held May 22 at Grove City Church of the Nazarene, 4770 Hoover Road.

Organ donors will receive a free T-shirt or patch, as will newly registered donors.

Those interested can sign up to be donors in person at the events, at the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, or online at lifelineofohio.org. To request a form, call 1-800-525-5667.