Photo of Sweet Briar College grad goes viral

Meredith Haga (Photo: Sweet Briar College)

UPDATE: Amherst Co., VA (WSET) - The Sweet Briar College graduate whose graduation photo on Facebook has gone viral, is both shocked and thrilled it's gotten so much attention.

The college posted this photo of Meredeth Haga on their Facebook page, with "I am here because of an organ donor" on her mortarboard, and as of Friday afternoon it had been shared more than 9,600 times with almost one and a half million views.

Then Friday morning "Donate Life America" posted it, and within the first 45 minutes Haga says it already had 5,000 shares.

Haga has an autoimmune disease that caused kidney failure at age 17, and she would have died had her step father not donated his kidney.

So when she was deciding about whether to put something on her graduation cap she asked herself "why am I here?" She described her thought process to ABC 13. "I'm here because my parents you know paid my tuition, and I'm here because I made good grades, but ultimately I'm here because of my organ donor and consequently it's my step father," said Haga. "But I thought what is the best way to honor the person who gave me the greatest gift and who sacrificed the greatest part of them to save my life and that's kind of what I went with-- I never thought it would get this much attention so this is amazing."

Haga now has a job as public education coordinator for Donate Life Tennessee.

May 26, 2016:

Amherst Co., VA (WSET) A photo of Sweet Briar College graduate Meredith Haga has gone viral.

"I am here because of an organ donor" was written on the black mortarboard she wore at the College's 107th commencement on May 14th.

The picture was featured on the College's Facebook page and as of Thursday morning, the image had reached more than 1.32 million people.

Haga survived an autoimmune disease that attacks the kidneys, all thanks to her stepfather, who gave her one of his kidneys.

She has now landed her dream job at Tennessee Donor Services.

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