Opening General Session & Keynote Speaker
Sunday, March 10, 2019
Simon Keith holds the distinction of being the first professional athlete in the world to play a professional sport after undergoing a heart transplant.
The story he will share with NHIA 2019 attendees is simply remarkable. Simon Keith is not just a former professional soccer player—he’s one of the longest-living organ transplant recipients in the world, having received a heart transplant when he was just 21 years old. Remarkably, Simon went on to play competitive soccer and was drafted #1 overall into the USA’s Major Indoor Soccer League just three years after his surgery. Captivating audiences with his incredible story, Simon challenges people to find their “moments of truth” and dares them to live.
Simon began 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.
In 2011, he founded The Simon Keith Foundation, an organization dedicated to increasing organ donor awareness and educating transplant recipients. 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. A member of numerous sports halls of fame, Simon was awarded Canada’s Humanitarian Leader of the Year award in 2015 for the David Foster Foundation.
In addition to his philanthropic efforts and professional soccer career, Simon is a successful entrepreneur who currently serves as the Chief Operating Officer for the Nevada Donor Network. Simon’s story is a story of the human spirit. Join us March 10 in Orlando to hear Simon’s story of hope and determination. His words will inspire and motivate you.