'Organ Donation: A Life in the Balance': Journalist Continues Mission To Educate Public On Gift Of Life

Felicia Middlebrooks
September 17, 2018 - 7:28 am

Photo provided by Renee Ferguson


CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- More than 114,000 American men, women and children are on the national transplant waiting list.  A local journalist suffered a tragic loss a few days ago and is continuing her mission to educate the public, particularly the black community about the gift of life. 

Retired Veteran Chicago journalist Renee Ferguson never dreamed she'd become a staunch advocate for organ donation.  But then, life happened.

"On Aug. 20 my husband collapsed. He was on the floor and he wasn't breathing and he had a massive heart attack," she said.

He, was journalist and publisher Ken Smikle. At 66, he died just days after Renee spoke with us.  He'd been waiting for a new heart.

"From a larger standpoint, what I want, whether it works out for us or not, for everyone to think about organ donation and to think about how it can change lives," Ferguson said.

WBBM Newsradio's part two of 'Organ Donation:  A Life in the Balance' will discuss Renee's crusade and why blacks have the greatest need for transplants, but are afraid to donate.

RELATED: 'Organ Donation: A Life in the Balance': African Americans In Need Of Transplants, But Afraid To Be Donors | 'Organ Donation: A Life in the Balance': Racism Impacts Health | 'Organ Donation: A Life in the Balance': Journalist Promotes Organ Donation After Loss Of Husband