Freddy Medina was born and raised in Oruro, Bolivia, but in 1995 he moved to the United States to pursue his education. In addition to attending college, Freddy served in the U.S. Marine Corps for six years while receiving his public administration degree from George Mason University.
Before graduating, he was required to complete a nonprofit studies class. “I always thought I’d end up working for a government agency after college, but the class opened my eyes to a world I didn’t know, and ultimately led me to explore career opportunities in the nonprofit realm so I could help make a difference for others,” said Freddy.
Soon Freddy landed a job as the Hispanic/Latino community outreach specialist and Spanish spokesperson for Washington Regional Transplant Community (WRTC), the local organ procurement organization (OPO) that serves the D.C. metro area. “It was a meaningful and gratifying job because I got to work with people who were passionate and committed to saving lives through organ, eye and tissue donation.”
After working at WRTC for a few years, Freddy and his wife Celia decided to move back to Bolivia with their young children. “We needed a change of pace and it was important for our kids to get to know my country, language and culture.” After spending a few years in his home country, Freddy and his family made the decision to return to the D.C. area to resume their professional careers.
Upon his return, Freddy was offered a position at WRTC as a Hospital Services and Professional Education Specialist. In this role, Freddy fosters relationships with nurses, doctors and healthcare professionals who work in the intensive care units at local hospitals. Doctors always make every effort to save a patient’s life, however, if a patient does not survive their injuries, Freddy works with the hospital to ensure they honor the patient’s and family’s decision to be an organ donor. “The donation process is complex and requires extensive collaboration between WRTC and hospital personnel. I oversee the process from start to finish as efficiently as possible – but always thinking about the selfless act of each donor patient and their families.”
In the years Freddy has worked for the Done Vida mission he has met remarkable people. Many of whom have been given a second chance at life. “These individuals empower me to work hard because if my colleagues or I do not give our very best, those who are on the organ transplant waiting list will not be able to receive the lifesaving gifts they so desperately need.”
Freddy is also passionate about busting myths and misperceptions about donation in the Hispanic community. “There are more than 107,000 people in the U.S. waiting for an organ transplant, and many of them are members of the Hispanic/Latino community. Everyone in our community needs to educate themselves by listening to the stories of people who have been positively impacted by donation.”