Organ donation awareness Jam 4 Life Sunday at Fiddlestrings

The Turn the Paige Foundation will host its seventh annual Jam 4 Life this weekend in honor of Paige Corbell who, through organ donation, saved seven lives when she died in 2009.

In 2009, 25-year-old Corbell died after suffering a seizure. Her mother, Keli Pearce, was at home alone with Paige when the incident happened and did CPR until paramedics arrived. Unfortunately, there was nothing they could do but keep her heart beating while getting her to a hospital.

Paige was a college senior who was active in the music industry, worked as a booking agent and was highly enthusiastic about organ donation, according to her mother.

“Paige would not even go out with a guy until he showed her his organ donor card; that’s how important organ donation was to her,” Pearce said.

Because Pearce knew how much organ donation meant to her daughter, she made sure Paige would not leave this world until she helped others in need. Seven people were given the gift of life that day because of Paige.

“To survive, I had to do something in her name. I felt like she did not have the time to make her mark on the world; so maybe I could do it for her,” Pearce said.

Together with her other daughter, Nelda Corbell, and friend Mark Rauterkus, they founded the Turn the Paige Foundation, which Pearce married to music because of how involved Paige was in the industry. After the foundation was established, the state of Texas has gone from less than half a million donors to 8.4 million donors and the Concho Valley has gone from five percent to 54 percent in organ donors. At every show the foundation hosts, they register new donors.

Once per year, the Turn the Paige Foundation hosts an acoustic show, Jam 4 Life, and the Paige’s Promise Putt 4 Life Golf Tournament, to honor Paige and raise money for people who need it the most.

This year’s Jam 4 Life acoustic benefit, featuring more than 20 musicians, will start at 1 p.m. Sunday at Fiddlestrings Bar & Patio, 3301 Arden Road. Among the artists volunteering their time to perform are Ricky Lynn Gregg, Jamie Richards, Bri Bagwell, TJ Broscoff, Matthew McDaniel and Shane Rogers.

There will also be a silent auction, a live auction and barbecue plates for everyone attending the event.

Following the Jam 4 Life, the TTPF will host its sixth annual Putt 4 Life golf tournament, starting at 11:30 a.m. Monday at Bentwood Country Club, 2111 Club House Lane. Typically, Pearce said, at least half of the artists from the acoustic show participate in the golf tournament as well.

All funds raised are given to anyone going through something tough, such as cancer treatments or a transplant.

“If we can make a difference in somebody’s life with a little bit of money, we will do it and we do not care how they spend the money,” Pearce said. “If they want to pay bills, they can do that. I know how horribly expensive it is for transplant medication and not to mention the six months recovery time. After a transplant where they cannot work, how will they feed their family?” she said.

This year, Pearce has already set her eyes on three people she would like to help raise money. Two of them just had transplants and the third has cancer and is in need of a transplant. As soon as April’s events are over, the foundation will start helping others.

“It may not be a huge amount we can hand out. Sometimes it can be as little as $250 that they can use on travel expenses to see their loved ones, other times we have the resources to give away $1,000. It really is all about what we can afford to give them and what their needs are.” Pearce said.

Members of the foundation also work with trauma professionals at Shannon Medical Center and participate in public speaking events about organ donation awareness.

“We try to educate people as much as possible on this very important issue,” Pearce said.

All the artists performing at Sunday’s concert are donating their time to this cause. Additionally there will be transplant recipients and donor families speaking about the importance of organ donation.

“We have the opportunity to make a difference for so many people by putting on events like this. I do it because I truly believe that every life matters, that everyone of us can make a difference in our world if we try and that we have a responsibility to do exactly that. I also do it because it honors my daughter. Everything I do, I do for her,” Pearce said.