Bill Hahn, 62, Passed Away Oct. 10 Surrounded By Family, Friends at Rockledge Regional Medical Center
By Space Coast Daily // October 12, 2018
double transplant recipient was pro surfer, businessman, poet, author and songwriter
ABOVE VIDEO: Space Coast Daily interviewed Bill Hahn at the Cocoa Beach “Foot Prints in the Sand” Kidney Beach Walk Presented By the National Kidney Foundation in 2015.
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Bill Hahn, 62, passed away on October 10, 2018, surrounded by friends and family at Rockledge Regional Medical Center.
He was a professional surfer, businessman, poet, author and songwriter – and longtime advocate for organ donation.
At age 52, Bill was a double transplant recipient of a pancreas and a kidney on New Year’s Eve 2009 and was very involved with the National Kidney Foundation of Florida.
Bill was the co-founder and chairman of the annual “Footprints in the Sand” Kidney Walk held at the Cocoa Beach Pier which raised awareness and funding for organ transplant patients.
“Billy had a beautiful soul, and like our beloved Rich Salick, they had the gift that kept on giving,” his friends said on Facebook. “We are blessed to have known him, RIP Billy, you will forever be in our hearts.”
Bill was born in Baraboo, Wisconsin on October 9, 1956, and was a 1974 graduate of Merritt Island High School and a 1978 graduate of Florida State University.
His story began more than 35 years ago when, at the age of 25 and just one week before getting married, he was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes.
“Wow, two life-changing events in the same week – I was shocked,” said Bill.
Bill went on to say, “I was an avid runner, wasn’t overweight, and maintained a proper diet, but there it was staring me in the face. Obviously, my life would never be the same.
I tried my best to control my diabetes with insulin shots, diet, daily exercise and constant blood glucose monitoring but it was a constant battle.
I fell victim to the many complications of the disease including blindness, coma and seizures. I only gained good control when I went on an insulin pump 25 years later.
Soon after, I was shocked once again in March 2008 when I was diagnosed with end-stage renal failure – another life-changing event.
I went on dialysis three days a week, and though it was tiring, I maintained my fitness and good blood sugar control until receiving a kidney-pancreas double transplant at Shands Hospital in Gainesville, Florida on Dec. 31, 2008.”
Life changed dramatically for Bill after that evening. No longer was he tied to dialysis, no longer did he have to stick to a highly restricted diet.
“The organs started working from Day One,” he said.
A few months later, Bill, a fitness buff and then owner of Home Fitness Warehouse in Melbourne, routinely ran 20 miles a day. He also became a devoted advocate for organ donation.
“The biggest factor with successful transplants is the amount of time you spend waiting for the transplant,” said Bill. “The technology is available for very successful transplants. There are just not enough donors.”
Bill told Space Coast Daily in 2009, “My goal is to raise awareness for organ donation and the Gift of Life. As a living organ donor, you can double the life expectancy of your recipient’s organ and life.
Bill is survived by his sisters Susan Hahn of Port St. John and Teresa Jamison of Merritt Island; and nieces Star Jamison of Merritt Island and Alexis Jamison of Orlando.
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