My buddy Ted got an email a few weeks ago – he forwarded it to Jenn and me and suggested we might create a post from it… (I hope I’m not screwing up another one of her post ideas!)
Oddly enough, I immediately recognized the sender of the email as a friend of mine from Transplant Buddies!!! Her name is Meghann – she’s waiting for two lungs. She wrote a beautiful email:
Subject: The Gift of Life
Please read the following message. You will be glad you did...
If a stranger was hurt in an auto accident, was choking in a local restaurant, drowning, etc., would you try to save them? How about if it was a family member who needed a live donor? If you could give back a life, would you? If you answered yes then let me tell you that there is a way that you can really give someone their life back. ARE YOU ANORGAN DONOR? If you already are, then we, who are in great need, thank you from our hearts. There is no gift that could be more precious than replacing certain death with life! It may even be one of my friend’s lives that you save!
You may or may not know me, but my name is Meghann. In February of 1993 I became extremely ill due to a random Staph Pneumonia in both of my lungs. After clinging to life on the respirator for 21 days, I finally started my road to recovery – although it did not lead to where I had hoped. My lungs were permanently damaged from the staph infection. My only hope for a longer life would be a double-lung transplant. I was listed that very same summer and spent 3 and 1/2 years on the waiting list. I did not receive a transplant because my condition became stable enough to the point where I could afford to go off the list. Now, 12 years later, I find myself once again being listed for a double-lung transplant. And my wait begins anew. I pray everyday that people find it in their hearts to choose organ donation and to especially notify their loved ones of their decision to donate their organs.
I am not alone. As of May 1, 2008, there are 99,134 people in need of an organ transplant. Each day, about 77people receive organ transplants. However, 19 people die each day waiting for transplants that can’t take place because of the shortage of donated organs. Did you know that there are a variety of people who need transplants? There are people waiting from new-born infants to some of the elderly. No matter your age, there is probably without a doubt someone who needs your organs if you pass, sometimes even if you're alive!
If you would like to know more about people like me, please take a few (precious) minutes and visit us at www.TransplantBuddies.org you will find an amazing group of people who share their experience, offer help, hope and most importantly, lots of love. If you’re not an organ donor, this should inspire you to become one. Here are a couple of statements from friends of mine on the site.....
'My name is Holly. I was placed on the National Transplant List for a new heart on Oct 20,2006. I would have to say that everyday of these past 18months has been a struggle for me. As my health continually deteriorates there are many days I'm afraid I will not survive to have the chance for transplantation. I pray more people will understand the urgency and need for Organ Donation and that it is the most AMAZING gift anyone can give. It gives the gift of life...maybe even to me.'
'I am Karen, all of my life I dreamed of being a mother. 2 years after being blessed with a beautiful son, I was diagnosed with a rare lung disease called Bronchiolitis Obliterans. We were devastated and my dreams were crushed. Our son had to go to daycare as I struggled through each day just to do normal things like get out of bed, get dressed, or take a shower. As my lung function declined, my only option was lung transplantation. I have now been waiting 3 months for the wonderful gift of new lungs. My son is now 4 yrs. old. He has only known a sick mommy. The gift of new lungs will give my son his mother back. Organ donation doesn't just save lives, it saves families. Please remember that children need organs too. Donating children's organs can help both children and small adults.'
Although I have not personally met any of my friends on the Transplant Buddies website, they are now a part of my family. We help each other by sharing our experiences, hopes and fears with one another on a daily basis. Like me, their lives have been touched by organ donation in one way or another.
Can you make that commitment to save the lives of people like Holly, Karen, and the others in the world in need of organs? Of course you can...become an organ donor today!!
Thank you very much for reading our message. If you can kindly forward our message of Hope, we would greatly appreciate your efforts.
Meghann M. - Waiting List for Double-Lung transplant
This message is approved by Risa:
Founder of www.TransplantBuddies.org
Double lung transplant survivor
I know Karen. I know Meghann. I know Holly. And I know Risa too… I don’t know-them-know-them, but like they know one another, I know them all from Transplant Buddies where I also participate…
Ted received this email from Meghann – I also know that Karen, Holly, Risa, Patti, Debbie, Charon and several others, in a organized effort, sent this email to their family, friends and contacts to help spread the word… I think they’re pretty cool…
Anyone who knows me has probably watched me pull out my wallet and show a perfect stranger a beautiful face – show them Kari’s pictures – and tell them about her… They might have asked me about the green ribbon on my collar, or about my IOWA shirt, and they got a story they may not have been expecting… Or I may have buttonholed someone else wearing and IOWA shirt… I get to speak to groups about her on a somewhat regular basis, and I get to tell them about her gift to me…
The Karen’s and Meghann’s and Holly’s of the world are one of the reasons I tell people about Kari. The other reason is because, in a very literal way, part of her is wrapped around my heart – and I want her smile and her legacy to live forever.
As Meghann asked – can you make that commitment?
You can find out where to register in your state here...
Be someone's hero...