Eckstein helps raise money for kidney transplant center

Eckstein helps raise money for kidney transplant center

Former Cardinals shortstop David Eckstein turned 40 on Tuesday, and he spent the day celebrating the gift of life.

Eckstein comes from a family riddled with kidney failure. His father, two brothers and two sisters all have had kidney transplants. His mother, who is in Stage 5 kidney failure, might be the next up for a kidney transplant.

On Tuesday, Eckstein helped raise $40,000 to assist in the building of the new Transplant House at Florida Hospital.

"I've already been given a gift, and that's the gift of life through organ donation," Eckstein said on MLB Network's High Heat. "It's just a great organization that hopefully we can help somebody out."

Eckstein says a typical kidney lasts 20-25 years, but thanks to technology, kidney transplant patients who receive organs from their siblings might have a longer window.

"Hopefully if I have to donate to my sister, it will last a long time, and [brother] Kenny, who has my brother Rick's, will last a long time," Eckstein said.

For more information and to donate, visit Eckstein's fundraiser page.

Cash Kruth is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @cashkruth. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.