Simon Keith is the first person in the world to play a professional sport after undergoing a heart transplant, having received the heart of 17-year-old welsh boy in 1986. Their story has been well chronicled including an ESPN E:60 feature, “A Change of Heart”.
Simon Keith is not just a former professional soccer player and one of the longest-living organ transplant recipients in the world, Simon is world renown speaker, having shared his remarkable story at the Whitehouse, as well as the British and Canadian Parliaments, and with audiences around the world. Captivating audiences with his incredible story, Simon challenges people to find their “moments of truth” and dares them to live.
After receiving the gift of life at just age 21, and in the middle of a remarkable soccer career, Simon resumed 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. Simon was drafted #1 overall into the USA’s Major Indoor Soccer League just three years after his surgery.
In 2011, he founded The Simon Keith Foundation, an organization dedicated to increasing organ donor awareness and supporting and educating transplant recipients. In 2018 The Simon Keith Foundation sponsored every child in the USA and Canada to attend the Transplant Games in their country.
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.
In addition to his philanthropic efforts and professional soccer career, Simon is a successful entrepreneur who successfully built and sold 4 different companies over a span of 15 years. Most recently Simon served as the Chief Operating Officer for the Nevada Donor Network, a federally designated not-for-profit Organ Procurement Organization, leading the organization from a ranking of 53rd (out of 58) in the USA in 2011 to #1 in the USA from 2015-2019 (and the world) in terms of number of organ donors & organs recovered for transplant per capita.
Now one of the longest living organ transplant recipients in history, Simon has signed a major movie deal about his life with Kennedy Marshall Entertainment and the legendary movie producer Frank Marshall (Jurassic World, Jurassic World; The Fallen Kingdom, The Jason Bourne movies: Identity, Supremacy, Ultimatum, Legacy, Jason Bourne, Sully, Back to the Future 1, 2 and 3 , Raider of the Lost Ark, and many, many more).
In 2018 Simon fell ill, as his heart and kidneys began to fail. (Heart transplants average longevity is just 10 years). In an astounding twist of fate, in March 2019, Simon underwent a second heart transplant, as well as kidney transplant. Against all odds, due to a complicated immune system, Simon stood less than a 1.75% chance of ever receiving the critical lifesaving gifts needed to save his life and continue this already, remarkable, story.
Simon belongs to the Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame and the Southern Nevada Sports Hall of Fame, and in 2015 was named Canada’s Humanitarian of the Year.
In addition to Simon sharing his incredible story, Simon is considered an expert in leadership development, organizational culture, and entrepreneurship.
Most Requested Programs
Moments of Truth
In all of our lives, we tend to define ourselves by MOMENTS. These moments shape who we are and how we view ourselves. The birth of a child, getting married, a big promotion are all moments that many of us celebrate. But what if the moments in your life are not always expected. How do you prepare for moments when you don’t know when or how they will come? Why do some people seem to ‘execute’ their moments better than others? What if your moment seems bigger than what you can handle?
Simon talks about the Moments in his life and how “being flat on your back at age 21, and about to have your heart taken out of your chest” certainly qualifies as a Moment. How Simon moved forward from that potentially crippling event and was able to live an incredible heart stopping life.
Why does FEAR inhibit our behavior? Why do we allow FEAR to become the overriding presence in our lives? Is overcoming FEAR the number one difference that make the ultra-successful “different” than the masses? Simon explores this concept as part of his LEADERSHIP training and pushes the audience to come to grips with their fears and what steps they can take to overcome this often debilitating state of mind. After participating in this KEY NOTE speech – you will be motivated more than ever to implement the strategies to overcome YOUR FEARS.
6 Characteristics of Champions
Simon has dedicated his life studying and understanding what it takes to be a Champion. Having identified 6 Major Characteristics, Simon speaks about the importance of each and uses anecdotal evidence based on his and other “Champions” lives.
- Belief – The Power of Stupid
- Pursuit of Excellence
- Dare to Live
Changing the Perception of Organ Transplantation
Simon communicates a unique perspective on what it “feels” like to be the recipient of a lifesaving organ transplant…even if you don’t want to really talk about. A 25-year struggle in learning to how to interact with others who expect you to be someone different than who you are (or ever were). Why do people want you to be “different”? Why do they treat you as “different”? Does it help you that they want you to be “special” or does it further handicap you? As a recipient who has fought prejudice and pre-conceived notions, Simon delivers a message that anyone battling an illness, struggle, or challenge will simply be inspired to hear. A must see presentation!
Simon’s messages tells an incredible story of HEART, PASSION, and DETERMINATION. He will captivate your audience with his “Moments of Truth” and will DARE YOU TO LIVE.
On behalf of all of ImageFIRST, I want to say thank you again so much for coming to speak at our National Meeting and share your story with us. The feedback we have received from the audience is just remarkable, and you truly made an impact on everyone there.
We really appreciate you taking the time to relate your story to our company and our values. The message you gave will stick with our attendees for months to come.
It was such an honor to meet you and have you present at our gala. Your presentation was phenomenal and is the talk of the hallways today. I think we share the passion for our life's calling and for our families!
I truly hope that we will have an opportunity to cross paths again. Please do not hesitate to contact me at any time.
- MN Heart Institute Foundation
“We got a lot of positive feedback on our Recharge event! Thank you so much! We will also be showing clips and presenting at our Corporate Best Practices meeting. This will be shared with all properties diversity councils and corporate diversity executive team!”
- NY NY Hotel & Casino