Meredith Land, NBCDFW.com
Finishing an Ironman triathlon isn't easy even for the best athletes, but David Landsberg had the inspiration of a lifetime to push him across the finish line.
Landsberg has been on the other side of the profession, he was born with polycystic kidney disease and waited two years for a kidney transplant.
"I was blessed it was only two years," Landsberg said. "The only thing I know about the donor is he was 6 year old boy (who) died in a car accident."
87,000 Americans are waiting for a kidney. 4,000 will die within the year, according the the American Transplant Association.
"For a horrible thing like that to happen to somebody and for them to have enough love and giving to want to do something to make that tragedy wonderful, like donate the organs," Landsberg said.
Landsberg emerged from transplant surgery healthy and determined. He started running, swimming and biking. In the process, David decided to train for the grueling Ironman triathalon. In November, David competed.
"I don't really know who it was but during the event where there were moments where you wanted to give up and you need a reason to keep going, I was like, 'somebody died and I'm alive for it. I'm going to do everything I can to make this happen and spread the word that organ donors save lives,'" Landsberg said.
David founded The Society for Organ Donor Awareness, or SODA, hoping to get the word out about organ donation. People who work with David at Parkland sing his praises. "It takes an iron man to achieve what he has in his life and he's an inspiration," said Michelle Howard, a Health Unit Coordinator.
David says he is grateful for each day and the little boy who in death, saved his life. "All I can say is thank you from the bottom of my heart. there really aren't words to express gratitude on that level," Landsberg said.