Alpha, Donald Helms Celebrates One-Year Anniversary of Liver Transplant by Hosting Golf Tournament to benefit the Alpha-1 Foundation

Donald Helms

Donald Helms hosted his first Building Friends for A Cure Event (BFC) Golf Tournament in honor of the one-year anniversary of his liver transplant. The golf tournament was held on Thursday, July 27, 2023, at the Botetourt Gold & Swim Club in Troutville, Virginia.

Over 75 family, friends, and colleagues joined together for a hot summer day on the course to raise $14,450 for the Alpha-1 Foundation. Fifty-two golfers joined together for the fundraiser to raise awareness about Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency. Guests enjoyed a cookout and silent auction and a raffle of an Alpha-1 themed t-shirt quilt. One of Donald’s primary goals was to continue to spread awareness about free confidential family testing.

Donald took his experience running hundreds of basketball tournaments and fundraising events for his AAU basketball club over the past 30 years to create and execute this successful BFC event. Donald appeared three times on his local radio program “Greg Roberts Live” in Roanoke, Virginia to promote the golf tournament and secure sponsorship dollars from local businesses.

Donald received his lifesaving liver transplant on July 21, 2022, at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina. Unaware of his Alpha-1 liver diagnosis until his near-death experience, Donald is determined to raise dollars for Alpha-1 and awareness for testing.

“This was the hardest, most rewarding thing I have ever completed. Due to my near-death experience due to Alpha-1 liver disease, my goal was to pay forward to the next group of unsuspecting people out there, that have no clue or never heard of Alpha-1. The Foundation gave me the encouragement to keep going and I could not be happier. Special thanks to my wife, Jennifer of 38 years, my daughter-in-law, Liz Helms, and my wife’s best friend, Mikki Barranco for helping deliver awesome service to make everyone remain hydrated on the hottest day of the year,” said Donald.

To learn more about the Building Friends for a Cure (BFC) program or to get involved in fundraising, please contact Irene Calderon at