I recently celebrated my 10-year heart transplant anniversary.
I am so thankful that I have been able to celebrate so many milestones with my family. High school and college graduations, 30th wedding anniversary, and many girlfriend brunches.
Receiving the gift has given me the chance to do what I enjoy, helping people.
I’ve been involved with promoting organ donation in one compacity or another since before my transplant. It’s amazing how many people you meet that are connected to donation. Sharing stories, talking about it from various perspectives and learning how it has helped donor families.
The gift has also allowed me to advocate for our seniors thru volunteering as an ombudsman in long-term care facilities. After temporarily losing my ability to care for myself while waiting for my transplant, I feel that I am able to identify with many of their experiences and help serve as their voice.
Organ donation not only improves the life of the recipient but their family members as well. Having lost my mother to the same disease, I know how difficult it was for my father and the children for decades.
Transplant ensured my son had both parents during his entire education career. I’ve also been told by my donor’s family that while it was a painful loss, it did bring them some peace to know he was able to donate and save five people’s lives.