Friday, August 24, 2012

The 5th Quarter

So I finally watched the film "The 5th Quarter" last night. It's been on my list of movies to watch. It's based on a true and very inspirational story that, yes, has to do with organ donation. I had no idea it was from the donor family perspective though.

I have to admit I think I really needed to see this movie. The movie was only about ten minutes in when I found myself in tears.  I won't go into detail but a tragic accident happens. And when the family was approached about donating their sons organs, the reaction was a negative're not going to rip my son apart, how rude, no, the viewer of this film, can only imagine what this family was going through. But in time, the mother recalls a conversation with her son when they were at the DMV getting his drivers permit. The little box regarding organ donation was staring her son in the face, he asked what it meant and the mother explained and then the decision was his to make. In the end the son, Luke, said "yes" to donating life. And with that, the family decides to donate their sons organs because it's what he decided....... and automatically that decision saved the lives (and the families attached to them) of five different people.

The movie goes on and yes I was in tears watching it because I could only imagine what our donor family experienced. The circumstances. Was it tragic? Was it sudden? Was the decision to donate life their decision to make or had their loved one already checked off "yes" to donate life. It's mind boggling and from time to time I struggle with this need to know, the want to know who our donor family is....the chance to say thank you in person.... and then there are times when I don't want to know because it truly scares me. I wonder if our donor family feels the same way?

The movie, again based on a true story, is a positive message about organ donation as well as the struggles and challenges this donor family had to overcome by losing a loved one. It shows in the end they were triumphant. Their loved ones spirit lives on not only within them but within the five people they saved by donating life. 

The Abbate Family, who "The 5th Quarter" story is about, has since started The Luke Abbate 5th Quarter Foundation. It's sole purpose is to raise awareness among teenagers & parents about the life and death consequences of teenage driving AND to raise awareness among teenagers & parents about the life saving gift of organ donation.

Hopefully this post will reach someone in the younger generation, maybe they'll watch the movie, and they'll decide to check "yes" to organ donation. Maybe they already know my little family of four and are already a registered organ donor? I don't know. The point is to help spread awareness about donate life to get more registered organ donors. 20 million in 2012. Register today if you haven't already.  

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


As I was being wheeled out of the labor & delivery department with a stressed out husband, diaper bags, twin infant carriers filled with our little bundle of joys, and a breast pump...I was shit scared. I must've looked like it too. I recall the nurse telling me to "relax, you'll be fine, go with your gut and before you know it they'll be heading off into kindergarten."

Well, that day has come and I was everything that nurse said and more. Today was the first day of kindergarten for Kaeden and Quinton. All the worry, the angst, the organizing, the how the hell am I going to do this x two.....we were fine just like that nurse told me. Our nerves may have been shot but no tears were shed from any of us. Only beaming with joy.

As I watched them walk away into separate classes I had a few thoughts running through my head...

1. Go learn. Expand your craniums.
2. I'm such a proud mama.
3. I really am the luckiest girl in the world to have them.

And my last thought was to our donor family. Wherever you are, whoever you are, thank you for donating life. Thank you for making it possible for me and Kevin to share in the joy of today's milestone, together.  ♥

TYDF: thank you donor family