Simon Keith Foundation Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame Award

The Simon Keith Foundation is dedicated to providing financial support primarily to youths who have undergone a life-saving organ transplant who desire a return to an active and healthy lifestyle.  In addition to helping people with their non-medical expenses, the Foundation strives to increase organ donor registration through public awareness campaigns:

Simon Keith is the first person in the world to play a professional sport after undergoing a heart transplant, having received the heart of 17-year-old Welsh boy in 1986. Their story has been well chronicled including an ESPN E:60 feature, “A Change of Heart”.

Simon Keith is not just a former professional soccer player and one of the longest-living organ transplant recipients in the world, Simon is a world renowned speaker, having shared his remarkable story at the Whitehouse, as well as the British and Canadian Parliaments, and with audiences around the world.

Simon attended the University of Victoria playing for the men’s soccer team in 1984 and 1985. In 1986, Simon became gravely ill and needed a heart transplant to save his life. After receiving the gift of life at just age 21, and in the middle of a remarkable soccer career, Simon resumed his soccer career at the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV), playing two seasons with the Rebels and garnering many honors, including being named Student-Athlete of Year for the Conference as well as being voted as the USA’s Most Courageous Athlete. After his senior season, Simon was named the Most Valuable Player at the Senior Bowl and was drafted #1 overall into the Major Indoor Soccer League – just three years after his surgery.

In 2011, he founded The Simon Keith Foundation, an organization dedicated to increasing organ donor awareness and supporting and educating transplant recipients. In 2018 The Simon Keith Foundation sponsored every child in the USA and Canada to attend the Transplant Games in their country.

His autobiography, Heart for the Game, details his unique life-journey, and he directs the proceeds from his book sales toward providing athletic training for other transplant recipients who undertake an active and healthy lifestyle.

In addition to his philanthropic efforts and professional soccer career, Simon is a successful entrepreneur who successfully built and sold 4 different companies over a span of 15 years. Most recently Simon served as the Chief Operating Officer for the Nevada Donor Network, a federally designated not-for-profit Organ Procurement Organization, leading the organization from a ranking of 53rd (out of 58) in the USA in 2011 to #1 in the USA from 2015-2019 (and the world) in terms of number of organ donors & organs recovered for transplant per capita.

Now one of the longest living organ transplant recipients in history, Simon has signed a major movie deal about his life with Kennedy Marshall Entertainment and the legendary movie producer Frank Marshall (Jurassic World, Jurassic World; The Fallen Kingdom, The Jason Bourne movies: Identity, Supremacy, Ultimatum, Legacy, Jason Bourne, Sully, Back to the Future 1, 2 and 3, Raider of the Lost Ark, and many, many more).

In 2018 Simon fell ill, as his heart and kidneys began to fail. (Heart transplant average longevity is just 10 years). In an astounding twist of fate, in March 2019, Simon underwent a second heart transplant, as well as kidney transplant. Against all odds, due to a complicated immune system, Simon stood less than a 1.75% chance of ever receiving the critical lifesaving gifts needed to save his life and continue this already, remarkable, story.

Simon belongs to the Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame and the Southern Nevada Sports Hall of Fame, and in 2015 was named Canada’s Humanitarian of the Year. In addition to Simon sharing his incredible story, Simon is considered an expert in leadership development, organizational culture, and entrepreneurship:

The Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame (GVSHOF) was founded in 1991 to recognize and celebrate the outstanding performances and contributions of athletes, builders, officials and teams from Greater Victoria who have brought distinction to themselves, their sport, community and country. Over the course if its history, the GVSHOF has evolved into a sustainable community institution with a permanent exhibition area that not only celebrates the achievements of past and present athletes but also promotes the role of athletics in the University of Victoria community. Through its recognition of the achievements and contributions of hundreds of past and present Victoria athletes and athletic supporters, the GVSHOF not only recognizes the vital role that fitness and athletics play in the Greater Victoria community, but also strengthens the ties that bind individuals to our community.

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