02/22/2011 01:55 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Ava Kaufman's Story: After Heart Transplant, Woman Dedicates Herself To Helping Others

When Ava Kaufman, a woman who'd spend decades as a professional dancer, found her body ballooned to a staggering weight and incredibly weak, she knew something was terribly wrong.

Doctors told her she had a rare autoimmune disorder.

NBC Nightly News reports Kaufman received a heart transplant just in time to save her life.

Now, Kaufman dedicates her spare time to helping spread the word about the importance of organ donation and supporting others waiting for surgery.