Gene Cassidy, a Baltimore police officer who was blinded in the line of duty, has cheated death twice -- once when he was shot in the line of duty in 1987, resulting in permanent blindness, and a second time when he nearly died in 2012 of end-stage cirrhosis caused by the hepatitis C virus. He contracted the virus through a lifesaving blood transfusion after his 1987 injury, before blood was routinely tested for hepatitis C. In June 2012, after months of waiting, Gene had a successful liver transplant at University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore and is doing very well.
Gene's story illustrates the critical need for organ donation, with 16,000 people in the U.S. currently waiting for a liver transplant. Gene Cassidy is a hero to many. He has served his community for more than 25 years as an instructor at the Baltimore police academy and inspired a whole generation of police officers.