Just writing today to give a "shout-out" to our fellow blogger Scott Meis over at I Am. Are you?
Since 2004, Scott has worked for Carolyn Grisko and Associates, an advertising agency that manages the public relations and promotions for Donate Life Illinois on behalf of Gift of Hope. Many of us in the organ donation community know him because he’s spent time working with us, to get the message of life and hope out there. He’s been heavily involved in the Social Media world, connecting transplant centers to patients, connecting recipients to other recipients, keeping organ mascots moving on missions to save lives, meeting donor families and so much more. On top of all of this work – which pays his bills, he’s an advocate himself and will forever be….even though he’s packing up his bags and moving to Seattle for another job with an advertising agency out West. He’s going back to his roots.
When Scott told me that he was leaving Chicago, I wrote him to tell him how impactful his work is - a copy of that e-mail is below:
You will be missed for sure! I remember first meeting you and just assuming that you had a personal tie to the organ donation community; because you took your work seriously and always did it with your whole heart. Rarely do you find professionals that can even grasp transplant, let alone be so compelled to take on all that you have. I'm most impressed with your knowledge of social media -- the transplant centers are so lacking in support for patients, yet with your work, many recipients and donor families have been able to connect through social networking sites. This is a gift that you leave all of us.
I never told you but, when Chloe's parents came to visit, Jon - Chloe's dad - wanted to give a little speech at a brunch we hosted for our friends and families. He stood up and told everyone how he "found" me online. He was sitting on a plane that had just landed in Dallas, looking out the window, "dreaming about Chloe and dreaming about Melissa". He took out his blackberry and Googled, "Melissa, Chicago, Heart Recipient" and up came YouTube. He clicked on the Open Hearted video. The video you and your team worked so hard to create! Jon and Linda watched, cried and were blown away. Soon there after, they Googled "Melissa Simon" (since my name was in your video) and up came a press release about the Hustle up the Hancock. They knew then that they had to come to watch me Hustle, and that is how we met. It all started with your video. Linda tells me she's watched it six times or so and has shown it to all of their friends in Chapel Hill. It's up on the memorial Facebook Page that Chloe's friends set up for her so they have all seen it too. What a wonderful thing you have done.
I’m sure in time, we would have connected with Chloe’s family, even if the video didn't exist. However, I'm confident that Scott's work aaccelerated the process and gave them a tribute to their daughter to share with the world. To us, that is something incredible (or Spectactical, as Chloe would say).
To Scott we say so long. It’s been a good run and Cheers to you! And as far as Seattle goes, you will do awesome. You will continue to rock your social media self all over the West Coast. I have no doubt!