Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Inspiration and Hope

April is National Donate Life month. I couldn't let the entire month get by without mentioning it, now could I? 

Donate Life America's mission this year is "20 million in 2012"....meaning their goal is to register 20 million more organ donors. Believe it or not there are indeed people out there who still aren't registered organ, tissue & eye donors. Sounds ridiculous, right? Sure, because if you're reading my blog that means you either a) know me.  b) saw my blog linked on someone else's facebook or twitter page. OR c) surfed the internet looking for anything related to LVAD's, heart failure, & transplants.  Am I close? All of the above means you are/have been touched by organ donation or have sat on the sidelines watching my family of four go through the entire process. 

I recently volunteered at Cedars Sinai for a couple of hours manning a Donate Life table in front of their lobby area/cafeteria. Just asking people that walk by if they were registered organ donors, if they had the pink dot on their drivers license, or if they wanted more information on organ donation. I will say it was one of the most interesting things I've ever done. I couldn't believe how many people were NOT registered organ donors nor did they want to become one. I mean really now.... I was standing in the top heart transplant facility in the United States and these people (yes some that worked there) were NOT interested in being organ donors. Yes, everyone is entitled to their own opinion but I honestly just didn't get it.....because I had to go through it, they didn't. This is why spreading the word about organ donation is so very important. 

There are more than 110,000 people waiting for an organ, a tissue transplant or the chance to see again. Some will get that call and some will unfortunately die waiting. I've seen both ends of that play out. 

Being an organ donor saves lives. Look at my husband, look at where we were a year ago. Last year at this time I was on the telephone fighting with Mr. Insurance. My family of four was living one day at a time. Never knowing what would happen next but we were always grateful.....always grateful for each day, each breath we took and each moment we shared as a family. 

If you know someone that isn't a registered organ donor, please tell them our story of hope. Tell them that because someone checked off yes to being an organ donor, my husband has a new heart. Be kind to others. We all learned that in kindergarten, right? Be green, save a life and recycle. If you know someone waiting for that call, please tell them to never lose sight, never lose hope...because where there is a will, there is a way. 

Our story of hope and inspiration is based on my husband, Kevin. He is the heart and soul of our story. Coincidentally, he's also the love of my life. He rocks my world like no other and I've told him many times how much he inspires me. 

Recently Kevin was in San Francisco at GDC, Game Developers Conference. He's been going for years. He missed last year because he was in no condition to travel.  This year he went. At the GANG (Game Audio Network Guild) Awards, during the conference, much to Kevin's surprise, he was given the GANG Recognition Award. A friend, colleague, and one of the founders of GANG, Paul Lipson, gives a wonderful introduction to Kevin. I couldn't be more proud of my husband and also so grateful that someone else was telling him how inspiring he was throughout the past 17 months. Even more proud because he took the opportunity to talk about organ donation during his acceptance. Who knows...maybe people in that audience went home and registered to be organ donors....I'd like to think so. 

Below is the clip of my husband receiving the GANG Recognition Award:

Be an organ donor. Donate Life. Rock on people.