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Gift of a Lifetime Web Documentary

Web documentary about organ donation and transplantation in the U.S.

About The Project


The Gift of a Lifetime is an original, interactive web documentary conceived of and produced by FusionSpark Media.

The project depicts the lives of people impacted by organ and tissue transplant, either through becoming a donor or a “donor family,” or through placement on the transplant waiting list.

This comprehensive, definitive resource about organ and tissue transplantation was written by Joel Swerdlow, photographed by Russell Sparkman and executive produced by Kevin Sparkman.

Though originally launched in 2004, it remains one of the best resources about this topic on the internet, today.

Waiting for the Gift


During a period of two weeks, the FusionSpark team documented the lives of patients on transplant waiting lists for either heart, liver or kidney transplants.

The project, which took place at the UCLA Medical Center, was the first “live from the field” web documentary about a health story ever created.

Understanding Donation


The Gift of a Lifetime used compelling storytelling to help build awareness of and interest in the subject matter.

Contextually related content to the documentary story includes animations that explain brain death, explanations of how the organ transplant system works, and more.

The Interactive Human Body


The Interactive Body takes the viewer on a journey through the major organs and tissues that are donated, and then transplanted, into the human body.

Each organ is depicted in an animated color illustration that explains what happens to the organ, causing the need for transplantation.

This type of functional content asset is extremely useful for explaining complex subject matter to the audience.

View The Interactive Body

Educator's Resources


Educator’s Resources are provided for integrating the Gift of a Lifetime content into the classroom.

Additionally, a continuing education course provided through the Heritage Institute so that teachers could earn professional development or continuing education credit.

Downloadable Classroom Activities


Downloadable classroom activities were provided as ideas and suggestions for how teachers could integrate The Gift of a Lifetime into the classroom.

Classroom activities were provided for Grades 5-8, and Grades 9-12.

Project Skills Include:

  • content strategy
  • creative ideas
  • research & writing
  • photography
  • interactive design
  • audio production
  • graphics / illustration
  • information architecture
  • website development