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Roxanne Watson ’87

Alumni Success Story

Roxanne Watson ’87

Roxanne Watson

With a New Heart Comes a New Challenge

After receiving a new heart in 2010, Roxanne Watson ’87 has been on a mission to educate people about the life-saving value of organ donation. Through her work with New York’s Campaign 4 Life and Donate Life NY, she has personally signed up more than 5,000 potential donors – leading Rockland County to the top position in the state for number of organ donor sign-ups. She was also selected as one of six winners among more than 3,500 entries in a worldwide competition on life-changing goals, for her efforts to create a global organ donor foundation.

In 2006 Watson, then 51, suffered a heart attack and was told she would need a transplant. The operation took place July 16, 2010, at Montefiore Medical Center. Her donor, 23-year-old Mike Bovill, was a Coast Guard serviceman who was returning to base on his motorcycle when he was struck by a truck on the George Washington Bridge on July 11, 2010.

Watson later got the surprise of her life when, as a guest on Oprah Winfrey’s TV show, the family of her formerly anonymous heart donor came on stage to meet her. “Michael Bovill was a true American hero who served his country proudly and saved five lives,” Watson says. She is determined to encourage as many people as possible to sign a donor card, especially among the minority population, which statistically needs the most organs.

Watson has worked in retail and is currently studying Culinary Arts at RCC. She earned an AA in Liberal Arts: Humanities and Social Sciences in 1987.


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