Most teenagers will be writing down all of the wonderful things they have been able to do up until this point in their lives. Typical extracurricular activities like basketball, debate, or even raising livestock. However, those and many other activities will not be on my list of achievements, because the last four years of my life have centered around one thing: staying alive. In March of 2012 I was diagnosed with restrictive cardiomyopathy. This basically meant my heart was dangerously enlarged and the only way to overcome it meant I needed a heart transplant. While all of my friends were planning what summer camps they wanted to attend, my mom and I had to up root our lives in our small town and move to a large unfamiliar city. To be eligible for my transplant, I had to stay within an hour of Texas Children's Hospital at all times. We lived in a travel trailer 15 minutes from the hospital, while my dad lived seven hours away. He would visit when possible but the unknown of how long I would have to wait for "the call" saying I was getting a heart was hard on our family. After a year of living like that, AEP was gracious enough to let my dad transfer to El Campo which was only an hour and a half away from us. It was certainly a better situation but all of our lives revolved around the unknown of how long this would be our "normal". During that time I started a new school and it had nearly as many students as my hometown had in the entire population! Several of my peers had parents who were doctors or nurses at Texas Children's hospital. On April 25, 2014 my life changed again when my high school counselor burst into my class and called my name. She gave me the look... the look that meant my mom had gotten "THE call". We ran down the hall together and kids were shouting, "Why are you running!?!" After two years of waiting, I finally got to proclaim, "I'm getting a new heart!" My life and the lives of my family had revolved around waiting for this moment and when it came, it flooded all of us with so many emotions. Fear of the process, excitement of healing, and grief for the family who lost someone they love but care enough to give me a second chance at life. My first heartbeat was at 2:15am of April 26, 2014. The recovery and healing was painful, exhausting, and freeing all at the same time. My 16th birthday was spent in the hospital with pneumonia but the people at Texas Children's celebrated with me like family, because we had been through so much with them. While my friends were having big surprise parties, or getting a new car I had a different perspective. I had the best gift of all... LIFE! I am a survivor. I am thankful every day for this opportunity because I know personally that so many don't get the chance I've been given. My brother, Austin Coker, passed away at 17 from an enlarged heart. My extra curricular activities may not look the same as every other teenager, but I've experienced the gift of living though organ donation and it has shaped my life profoundly. I am, and always will be, a survivor, ever grateful for not only the sacrifices of my parents but also the donor who gave me a second chance at life. Thanks Casen's Crew for showing your support while we lived in Houston! The Coker family will forever be thankful for y'all!