Terminally Ill Transgender Woman Helps Launch World's Largest Book Exchange

Sunday October 4, 2020

(l to r) Rivkah Schrodt, Dillon Hill
(l to r) Rivkah Schrodt, Dillon Hill  (Source:Live For Another)

Hundreds of people are making a dying woman's wish come true. Rivkah Schrodt, diagnosed with a fatal form of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS), wanted to leave behind a legacy. People from across the country have responded overwhelmingly to her call to leave behind a bit of kindness in the form of books.

Schrodt, 34, who is both deaf as well as transgender, was bullied all her life. People have called her names, given her weird looks, or just been discriminatory because of her uniqueness. For her, books were an escape from the difficulties of life.

When "Live for Another" founder Dillon Hill was searching for book recommendations, he came across Schrodt's post asking for book recommendations to help her cope with her recent terminal diagnosis.

Hill began producing "Live For Another," a video series about helping others, after creating a viral documentary about his childhood best friend's terminal cancer diagnosis. The documentary depicted Hill dropping out of college to support his friend's bucket list in his final year.

Since then, Hill has been using his platform to help people like Schrodt. Together, they have created the world's largest book exchange.

"Hundreds of people have already committed to sending a stranger a copy of their favorite book," said Schrodt. "By promising to send a stranger your favorite book, you'll get one in return."

"I hope a lot of people will participate," said Schrodt. "I know it's weird to participate in a book exchange. But, you'll be able to brag to your friends that you helped make history. Plus, you'll have my eternal gratitude."

EDS is a rare genetic disorder that results in defective connective tissue. While some EDS patients have relatively minor complications, others like Schrodt experience catastrophic issues and have a reduced life expectancy.

"If I could leave behind a little bit of kindness in this world, I will have accomplished my mission," said Schrodt.

#BucketListBook aims to take over social media. Hill and Schrodt are calling on people to post selfies holding their favorite books. Then, challenge three others to do the same, all while using the #BucketListBook hashtag.

For those that don't want to participate in the book exchange, there are opportunities to buy one of the books on Schrodt's wishlist and support the "Live for Another" series.

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