Life Goal: Celebrate Everything and Pay It Forward

Eleven years ago this month, my heart was failing, I was dying, and my last life goal was to live to see our son turn 5 thinking that he might have a memory or 2 of me that were his and not merely stories someone had told him about me.

I’ll never forget his 5th birthday. He went bowling with a friend until his cousins from Clarksville arrived that evening. His Thomas the Train birthday cookie instead of a cake. Our trip to the LEGO store for his present.

Most of all I remember the JOY, his JOY, our JOY, my JOY tempered with the heartbreak that this would be my last birthday with him. He would turn 6 without me as hope was diminishing with each passing day as I grew weaker and weaker.

Upon arrival at the Cleveland Clinic on 4/19/08, I took my cardio-thoracic surgeon’s hands in mine and said, ‘I’m not asking for a lifetime; I just want to see my little boy into his teenage years’.

Well, this last week something ah-mazing happened; our son turned 16 AND I was here to celebrate with him alongside my husband!

NEVER is my wildest imagination did I think I’d be alive today, 11 years later. I am ever mindful that my presence with my son and my husband did not come without cost as a 17-year-old young lady lost her life in a tragic car accident through no fault of her own. Somehow her family was able to transcend their grief in the moments surrounding her death [and] say yes to organ donation.

Their decision was used to save my life.

I met my donor’s dad almost 6 years ago. He recounted to me the day he took his daughter to the DMV to get her license. When she came to the organ donation question, she looked to him, and she checked the box.

This week I took our son to the DMV to get his license. When he came to the organ donation question, he looked at me and checked the box.

More than 90% of Americans believe that organ donation is not only a good thing to do, it is the right thing to do, yet only ~50% have taking the steps necessary to register as an organ donor.

If you have not taking the steps to register as an organ donor, please consider doing so. Organ donation saves lives [and] leaves a legacy of life in honor of the life of each donor.

To register, click here.

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