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Giving Life

On an otherwise quiet day, August 30, 2009, a young woman I will never meet gave my family the most amazing gift.   More specifically, my Dad.  His kidneys had failed in the years leading up to this.  He had been on dialysis, but after experiencing just about every complication possible, the rest of us stood helplessly and watched him turn into a very old man almost overnight.  My brother, my sister, and I were ruled out as possible donors due to other health concerns, not that we had any faith we could convince Dad to let one of us be a donor for him.  Then early in morning, the call came.  He had a match.  His donor gave him (and others) life, even as hers ended.

I cannot describe the feelings from that day, not really.  But I carry a debt with me, a need to do my part to give back.  I know that I may not have organs worth giving when my time comes, who knows.  But I’ll make sure my wishes are known.  It’s like an ultimate way to “pay it forward”, the most honorable way of giving I can imagine.  I’ve wondered how to share my thoughts on this, how to encourage my friends, and maybe they would encourage their friends, to consider making this a priority.

April is “Give Life” month, and I think maybe I have a small way to promote giving.  I encourage all of you reading this to consider including organ donation as part of you plans for giving to your community.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful, if during April, we could get 100 new donors listed?  It’s easy to do.  Many states let you mark this on the back of your drivers license.  If that is not an option for you, look at these websites: donatelife.netorgantransplants.orgcore.orgorgandonor.gov.  I’m creating an event on a new Civic Engagement app – Civic Rush.  If you make the decision to join the ranks of miracle workers, use the app to join the event.