By day, heart and kidney transplant recipient Bob Jennings plays a full time financial consultant in Sacramento– and in fact has been in the financial planning business for more than 30 years. But, it’s the grandfather role he cherishes the most.
And so, every Christmas this past president of the East Sacramento Rotary, becomes Santa Claus for his three grandchildren – and with those sparkling eyes, healthy glow and red suit – the role fits him. Bob is determined to make each and every day with his grandchildren, memorable. Afterall, without his heart transplant in May of 1996 when he was within weeks of death, and then a subsequent kidney transplant five years later, none of his three small grandchildren would have known this warm, vibrant man.?”I believe I have experienced a true miracle – another chance at life,” says Jennings. “Being with my grandchildren and playing Santa each year, I get to see the faces of my grandchildren light up with the magic of what is possible. It’s all about life.”
Back in 1996, things were not so bright for the Jennings family. A virus had settled in Bob’s heart. He was within weeks of death, when on May 16, he received a life-saving transplant. Then, in October 2001 – he received a kidney transplant – following complications from medications taken for his heart.?Now this accomplished businessman has taken on yet another role – that of raising awareness of the critical need for donors.
“Having experienced a true miracle,” says Bob, “I’d like to share my story with others to encourage them to give the gift of life. It’s about giving life.”