Today, June 2, 2020, it's both highs and lows...
Part 1: Mountains
It was five years ago today that I received a gift I cannot repay, the gift of life.
After surviving for six years on the national liver transplant waiting list, which can be (and was) an arduous and perilous journey, in the early morning hours I received "The Call". Before the clock would strike midnight, my fight to survive would end and my will to thrive would take over as my Hepatitis C ravaged liver was replaced with a liver that quickly made an incredible difference in every moment of my life ever since.
Organ donation is an incredible medical achievement. It's a truly incredible gift to receive, and today I celebrate my medical team, the patients that have come before me, and the researchers that have made my complete recovery possible.
Even as I celebrate and enjoy the life I'm now living, I realize that this gift that is impossible to repay, was paid for by someone else.
Part 2: Valleys
It was five years ago today that someone lost their life, probably in a traumatic way.
A mother lost a son, or a wife lost her husband. A friend lost their closest confidante. A boss lost a trusted employee, or a fisherman lost his buddy. A child lost a mother, a sister lost a brother.
I still don't know who my donor was, or their family. I send cards and letters, anonymously, through intermediaries at the transplant center in hopes of someday being able to thank them for the gift their loved one has given me. They have yet to respond, and perhaps won't.
Even as I mourn the passing of my as-yet-anonymous donor, I realize that the gift I received has a high price indeed.
THE REST OF THE STORY ...
In the meantime, I continue to do all I can to honor this incredible gift with a healthy lifestyle, and to pay it forward by helping others navigate the perils of liver disease, hepatitis C, and organ donation and transplantation.
If you, or someone you know or love is struggling with any of the many liver diseases, It would be an honor to answer any questions you may have. The struggle is real. Please, don't hesitate, and don't be afraid or ashamed to reach out. If I don't have the answer, I probably know people who do. In fact, check out www.LiverFoundation.org for all kinds of information, help, and resources.
If you're not already an organ donor, please consider signing up on the national registry at organdonor.gov
Today, June 2, 2020, I cry tears of both joy and grief.
I wish you peace ...