A Heart With A Cause

I don’t talk about serious things too often on this blog. But there’s one thing going on in my life that leaves my heart heavy and that I think about every single day. My husband’s sister Kim, is waiting for a heart transplant. She’s been in my life for so long and our memories are so intertwined it’s hard to remember when she wasn’t a part of my life. She’s adored by everyone that meets her and has more friends than I could possibly count. Her positive energy brings out the best in people and everyone wants to be around her.

We’ve been waiting anxiously. Her health is declining. Every night when my kids kneel to pray they ask,  “Please help Aunt Kimi to get a new heart so she feels better“.  I struggle because I feel like there’s nothing I can do. Nothing I can do to make the sickness go away.

The only thing I can do is spread the word. I asked Kim to post her experience about waiting for organ donation and waiting for a heart. I think she was reluctant at first, fearing that it may come across self serving (and she’s anything but). She agreed because she knows that this is bigger than just her. Thousands and thousands of people are waiting for an organ, hoping that their turn will come.

So I’m asking you to consider it.  To sign up.  To do your part to spread the word.  -Christy

 

Now here’s Kimi…

kimi2

I first started seeing a cardiologist at age 14. My symptoms were inconsistent and although I couldn’t exactly keep up with my peers, I never really sat on the sidelines. As I reached adulthood, I would spend a day each August completing a treadmill test and EKG, then spend the next 364 days forgetting all about it. However, in 2011, my health began to quickly decline, and I spent most of a year searching for a correct diagnosis and treatment plan. I never would have guessed that I would find myself hoping to qualify for a heart transplant, but in June of 2012, it became an answered prayer.

Of all of the thoughts and feelings this experience has brought me, one of the most interesting has been that I think about my donor a lot. Not just every day, but multiple times a day. And I’m surprised, because I didn’t think I would feel this kind of a connection until after it happened. See…I’m still waiting for a donor…251 days to be exact.

I have been concerned about my donor since the very first day. In fact, during the winter holidays, I started hoping that it wouldn’t happen because I didn’t want things to to be dreary for the donor’s family during this, and future, Christmas seasons. I regularly think about what my donor might be doing right now, and I hope for the very best things. As I say ‘I love you’ to friends and family, I hope moments to say ‘I love you’ are embraced by my donor. When I share an entertaining conversation with a friend, I hope that my donor gets to laugh a lot. As I organize paperwork and account information, I hope that loose ends are tied up regarding important issues for my donor. As I feel peace and patience in the wait, I hope that my donor is also encompassed in peace.

I think about this so often because my donor is most likely young, and active, and believes that the next 60+ years are full of possibilities. My donor has close, significant relationships, and very likely has children. My donor is healthy. My donor may have never considered being a donor, and my donor’s family might have no instinct to make that decision in his or her behalf.

In light of that possibility, I thought it might benefit many people if I could address some of the urban legends that sometimes turn off potential donors…

Myth: If you are an organ donor, medical staff won’t try as hard to save your life.

Truth: Medical personnel’s first priority is to do everything they can to save you as the patient. They do not have access to your donor status details, and donation is not discussed until every life saving option is exhausted.

Myth: Age or medical history (such as diabetes, cancer, medications) prevent individuals from qualifying as an organ or tissue donor.

Truth: Anyone can be a organ or tissue donor. Eligibility is determined case by case, by the appropriate procurement organization. Even I am a donor…my heart is trash, but my kidneys and liver have proven themselves to be rock stars, and anyone would be lucky to have them!

Myth: There are plenty of existing donors for those who are awaiting organ transplant.

Truth: Only about 2% of deaths have the potential to become organ donors, but not all of that 2% are registered to do so. One donor can save up to nine lives through organ donation, and decrease the thousands of people who die every year on the waiting list.

Myth: If you check donor on your driver’s license, it will be obvious how things should be handled, if that time comes.

Truth: Hospital procedures regarding organ donation vary from state to state. In most cases, the medical staff will consult with the patient’s family about the wishes and intentions regarding donation. If you are currently registered as a potential donor, or are interested in doing so, please have this discussion with them. Imagine the comfort your family would have knowing that they are following your desires.

Myth: My religion does not approve of organ donation.

Truth: Nearly every religion in the U.S. officially supports organ and tissue donation and views donation as an act of compassion and generosity.

Myth: I wrote this in hopes of selfishly enlisting my own donor.

Truth: I hope that my words might impact one person to decide to be an organ and tissue donor. After eight months of waiting, I have come to terms with the idea that it might not happen for me, but maybe there will be some meaning in my experience that can positively impact the lives of others.

If you are an organ donor, chances are there will come a time when a potential beneficiary begins to think a lot about you. You will become the recipient of prayer, appreciation, and concern from an individual who is fighting for a chance at a better life. That recipient will spend a lot of time and effort to be worthy of your charity, and will spend a moment every day, for the rest of their ‘second chance’, expressing gratitude for the gift you have given.

More information is available here:

http://www.yesutah.org/content/about/faq

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/organ-donation/FL00077

Register to be a donor now:

For Utah residents: http://www.yesutah.org/

Outside Utah: http://www.organdonor.gov/index.html

You can follow Kim’s journey here on Facebook.

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Comments

  1. I have been registered as an organ donor since I got my license at 16. I wouldn’t have it any other way! While it’s sad to know that someone has to die to save Kim, I hope everything works out and a heart comes in soon for her. Thanks for posting this!

    • Christy {The Girl Who Ate Everything} says:

      Jamie,
      Good for you. I feel like sometime’s it can be intimidating but with a little understanding checking that little box becomes easier. – Christy

  2. As a person who has checked “donor” on their driver’s license and made sure that my advanced directive provides clear direction to my loved ones that I wish for my organs to be donated if my life can not be saved, I hope that your sister finds her match. It always makes my heart hurt a little to know that someone’s 2nd chance often comes at the expense of another’s life but it truly is a wonderful gift that you can give another human being. While I hope to live a long life and die of old age, well beyond my usefulness as a donor – it is my sincerest wish that I help others live that wish out if it doesn’t work out for me. Sending healing thoughts your family’s way.

    • Christy {The Girl Who Ate Everything} says:

      Carrie,
      Your response made me cry. I couldn’t have explained it better…

      • I didn’t mean to make you cry! Organ and tissue donation is something I am a huge supporter of. Perhaps your family’s story will inspire some more people to consider it too.

  3. I have always ‘meant’ to sign up for organ donation but never have. My friend and I are participating in the Donate Life Walk here in California in April. Your sister-in-law’s story was so humble and beautiful, it gave me the nudge I needed to sign up today. Thank you and our prayers are with her as she continues to wait for the match.

  4. When I came home from my mission 5 years ago my family lived in your in-law’s and Kim’s ward in Colorado. I didn’t know her very well, but I’ll be keeping her in my prayers.

  5. Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. says:

    Thanks so much for sharing Kimi’s story! I am a registered organ donor, as is everyone in my family. I really can’t imagine why anyone would hestitate to give the give of life. I will say a little prayer that a new heart becomes available for Kimi soon. And I will remember to say a little prayer for her donor and their family too.

  6. I received a heart on March 30th 2003. I thank God and the donor family everyday. Organ donation is a great gift. Please make sure your family know your wishes when you check organ donation in the box. Don’t let the hospital staff tell you what a hassle it is to do during this sad time of your life. Think what you can do with your loss to help others at your difficult time.

    • Christy {The Girl Who Ate Everything} says:

      Thank you Jackie. It’s great to hear from someone who received a heart. That gives us hope! – Christy

    • Praying for her to receive that heart she needs. A good friend of mine in Kansas City had twin boys (12 years old-I think) when she received the heart she so desperately needed. She is on her third year and doing fine-except for some minor setbacks. Keep spreading the word. Because of her, I’m on the donor list. Blessings, Stephanie

  7. I am the mother of a daughter who had a liver transplant. She was born 32 yrs ago with a bad liver, they gave her a 5% chance to survive until 1 yrs old. Back then there wasn’t organ transplants that work. I thank God every day that she made it until the age of 26 when transplants are an everyday occurrence. The day she had her transplant there were 7 others having transplants at the same time. I hope you have as good of luck as we did and I’ll be thinking about you and your family.

  8. Thank you for sharing such an intimate story. I have been a registered organ donor for most of my adult life. I have always felt that it is an easy gesture for us to give such an enormous gift to (in most cases) a stranger. Sharing Kimi’s story and educating people on the all the myths, could very well help her and anyone else waiting.

  9. My entire family, including my kids, have all made the decision to be donors. Obviously we all want to lead long lives, but life lessons have taught me that doesn’t always happen. So should anything happen to any of us we would want to help others. It’s really such an amazing gift to give to another person, and their loved ones. I lost my mom when I was 15, she had a heart attack in the middle of the night. I always think about what could have been had the issue been found in time. How different my life would be, and my kids, if she was here with us. It was such an easy choice for me. I think so many people do not want to talk about their plans as they feel it’s morbid but it’s not. Knowing how someone feels in advance makes those decisions less burdensome for the people left behind. Thanks for sharing your life with us. I hope Kimi gets a heart as pure and lovely as the one she showed us today. xx

  10. Thanks for sharing this (Christy and Kim!). What a difficult journey but thank you for opening our eyes to what we can do…in becoming an organ donor. Kim, I pray whole-heartedly and honestly that you get the good news of a donor in no time. Your strength is amazing!

  11. Kimi’s story has brought a tear to my eye. Her bravery in the face of her illness and the bravery that everyday people show when they become donors makes my heart proud. Keep up the fight.

  12. It’s a perfect time for you to share this post, what with it being National Heart Disease/Defect Awareness month. My little guy was born with three congenital heart defects, has had numerous open heart surgeries and heart caths and procedures, and he is just 3 years old. He’ll require more surgeries, and possibly, a heart transplant. We also have a good friend who is 39 and has been on the heart transplant list for about 3 years. We understand this journey you are on, and we understand what a blessing a donor can provide. You have a great perspective and a loving heart. I wish you the best.

  13. I don’t often comment here but I had to speak up today. As someone who is both a donor and is on the list waiting for an organ donation, this post struck me hard. I could relate closely to Kim’s story.

    I hope that your sister finds her match soon. I’ll keep both her donor and my donor in my thoughts and prayers now. It’s sad to realize that our second chances will come at the expense of another’s life but it’s such an amazing gift that we could be granted. It is humbling and awe-inspiring to consider.

  14. I’m not a crying kind of person– but you definitely made me tear up (at work, too!). You sound like such a good natured person and it’s almost too sweet that you wish nothing but the best to someone that in death would make your life better. I’m not sure I could think that selflessly.

    For the last several years, I’ve been very vocal that my after death plan is to be pressed into a diamond (no taking up valuable ground space, I want everyone to want to carry me around!). I’ve assumed everyone knows to take out the still-working parts first, but I’ll definitely have to add that in when I talk about it :)

  15. Hi Christy,

    This post hits close to home for me and I hope that I could give you and Kimi some hope. Miracles do happen and I’d like to share a story about myself. I was 19 at the time (I am 24 now) and I was visiting my home city during a break between university semesters. I suddenly got very ill and went to the ER with chest pain, shortness of breath and nausea. After 2 hours in the hospital, I fainted. I woke up a week and a half later or so in the hospital. It turned out that I had heart failure due to a viral infection (mayocarditis). Yep, everyone thought I was going to die. The only thing that kept me alive was the LVAD (Left Ventricular Assist Device) which replaced heart function for my left ventricle and kept the blood flowing. It was also a concern that I would have needed a heart transplant as well. My survival chances from the surgical procedure was very slim on its own at only 1% ish and I would probably need a transplant if I lived through it. I actually ended up getting better with the LVAD and they were able to take it out and I got better on my own. I didn’t need the transplant, so I am glad that it can go to someone else that needs it. It was a really hard thing for me to go through and things that really helped was hope and support from family and friends. I never spent a day thinking about what if I don’t make it tomorrow and I only focused on what can I do today. It really helped me get through by focusing on things that made me happy which was spending time with friends and family.

    I hope everything goes well with you and Kimi. Stay strong, be positive and make the most of everyday. *hugs*

    Anna

  16. I am honored to be able to call Kimi D my friend. She is so full of life and has such a positive spirit about her. She truly is the life of the party and loved. I have always been registered as an organ donor and have that little Y on my drivers licence but when Kim was put on the list I made sure my family was aware of my wishes. The topic of Kim comes up many times at work or different social gatherings so just by that awareness is being made. I pray and think of Kim every day that she will receive her donor heart.

  17. Thanks for sharing this! My mom was on dialysis a couple years ago and was blessed to receive a kidney from my best friend. I knew prior how important organ donation was but now I know first hand.

  18. I see people struggling for their lives every day as an RN on a cardiac unit. Let me share a story I was told when I first started during orientation.

    A father was away from home when his home caught on fire, his family inside. He had four young children, from months old to about 5-6 years and a wife. He hurried to the hospital when he found out about his family. When his wife died, he was asked if he would be willing to donate his organs. He agreed. A few hours later, his eldest passed child passed. Again he agreed to donate the organs. Once again, he was approached, and asked to donate the organs of his youngest child. He agreed. In tears, he visited his last two children. The next one passed. He again agreed to donate and said that this daughter was a fighter. She will make it. The entire staff was in tears when they brought him the news. He lost his entire family and home in less than a day, but he agreed to donate their organs.

    Later, when a memorial service was held, he thanked the staff of the hospital and the organ donation workers. He stated that if he had not donated his family’s organs, he would have committed suicide that night. Between all the family members, it saved the lived of over 40 people.

    I am an organ donor and know that no matter how upset my friends and family may be, I will pass something on after I die and they know that my death will save others.

    • Christy {The Girl Who Ate Everything} says:

      Wow. That story brought me to tears. I would like to think that I could be as selfless as that man in such a hard situation.

  19. Thank you for sharing your story as you wait for your new heart. You are an amazing and very caring person. Will be watching for updates. Blessings to you and to the donor, whoever God has chosen for that gift to you.

  20. Praying for Kim.

  21. Well said, Kim. And I sincerely hope you don’t have to wait much longer. I’ve been a registered donor since 1977, when I gave a speech on organ donation in high school. And 26 other kids in that class signed up, too. All we can do is spread the word, and hope and pray for the best.

  22. I work in a very busy level one trauma ICU as a nurse. We work very closely with Donor Network. Although we do our best to save the life at hand, we know when that goal is no longer achievable. We are always thinking about how we can save people one way or another. No matter how long I am a nurse, I will still get that compelling, energy rush of a feeling that comes over you when you see them take an organ donor patient down to OR. It is sad yet so promising. One life saving many more. It truly is a gift of life. -Ashley

  23. I was privileged to meet Kim a year and a half ago. She helped me through some boy drama and gave such amazing advice that I couldn’t help but fall in love with her. She is such an amazing, insightful, sassy, positive, spiritual, wise, and beautiful woman. I am so lucky to call her friend and was very touched to read this tonight. I hope it helps other people consider organ donation. I’m also glad Kim turned me on to this blog a few months ago (when I went to her bday party and tried some killer almond cookies). I have not been disappointed by any of the recipes I’ve tried. Thank you for widening my recipe selection! :)

  24. What a powerful post… I have never checked the organ donor box on my drivers license due to a few of the myths Kimi referred to. I have never looked at it from the perspective of someone who needs a transplant, and have never considered how I would feel if someone in my family needed one. Very enlightening. I will be having a conversation with my family and making some changes. Hoping only good things for your family.

  25. Ryan Cox (Brown) says:

    What have I been waiting for? I am signing up to be a donor. KIM- I miss you! I love you! You are in my family’s prayers, ever since you shared your story on Facebook. Can I just say that this is perhaps one of the dearest things I have ever read? I think that it would truly be an honor to help save another life if a life is to be lost, I am talking to everyone I know and encouraging them to become donors, especially now that the myths are debunked! I must say what a shining example of faith you are. You pray for your donor, you consider your don

  26. I’m praying for Kim to receive her gift of life.
    Our family whole-heartedly supports organ donation for so many reasons, thus are registered donors. Thank you to Kim for sharing her story, and to you Christi for providing the platform to raise awareness.

  27. What a beautiful and thought-provoking post. My prayers go out to Kim – what a wonderful and caring woman!

  28. Kim, SO very well said! I’ve always been a [potential] organ donor. Heck, I have no use for any of this flesh after I die. Someone else may as well get some use out of it. And, for those of you who just can’t deal with the thought of someone taking your organs, GROW UP. GET OVER IT. None of us get out of this alive so your time will come. In advance, do something good, unselfish and easy. Go to your state’s website and find out how to become a donor. I guarantee that, after you’re gone, you won’t mind one little bit that someone made use out of something you no longer need. Do it today – before you drive home.

  29. Prayers for Kim! She was very eloquent in talking about the myths and her empathy for the donor…

  30. Christy-Thanks so much for sharing this! I believe I have checked that little box out because I feel with organ donation, I really don’t have to think twice about it. Although, I will double check it soon because it is something I think we forget about; it’s in the way back of our minds.I am thinking of Kimi and your family! I totally teared up, too. Very moving!

  31. How funny, yesterday I posted on signing up to the organ donor register in the UK ! I”m so sorry that your family. I’ve been signed up as an organ donor for years, and my mum (my next of kin) knows that these are my wishes- I’m also a blood donor and on the bone marrow donor register. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for your sister-in-law to get a new heart, but agree that it’s so sad that for her to get better, someone else has to lose their life. So much love in your family’s direction!

  32. Hey thanks for allowing Kim to share her story. I met Kim at a previous job and really liked her fun-loving personality and spunk. I pray for you and your family, Kim and thank you for the courage to speak out. I wasn’t a donor but this changes my mind about it. I’m gonna register to be one and advocate for it to my family as well. :) Take care!

  33. As an ER doctor I wanted to reiterate that we never know the donor status prior to performing full resuscitation. We do all in our ability to save those who make it to the ER. Even Pre-hospital (EMS) personnel don’t know or report the donor status. I have seen lives blessed by organ donation. It’s not a sacrifice to give up which we no longer need.

  34. Danielle Edmonds says:

    I don’t know Kimi personally- but I remember sitting by her at the football games- many years ago! I am sorry that she (and all of you) are going through this. It is so hard to wait… and worry. My 7 month old niece passed away about a year ago, waiting for a liver transplant, that never came. Her situation was unique because she was so small and livers that size are extremely hard to find. Since her passing, my sister, as well are our whole family- have become passionate about educating people on organ donation. My sister started a foundation in her name- to raise awareness about organ donation. Because of my niece, Ruby Jane- over 2.000 people have signed up to be organ donors! People really don’t understand and are just not educated- but once they have their questions answered, most people sign up right away! We remind people- If you would be willing to accept an organ, you should also be willing to be a donor.

    You can check out my sisters blog here:
    aniandmatttaylor.blogspot.com

    My prayers are with Kimi- that her new heart comes quickly and that her donor’s family will be blessed, also. Organ donation is a miracle- it makes me happy that you are raising awareness also!

  35. I wish all the best for your Kim – and cannot possibly think anything but good thoughts around this post. Wishing her blessings and light. Carrie

  36. Stacie Cupp-Gammel says:

    I grew up with Kim. And yes, she is the sunshine that lights the room! I’ve always been an organ donor and always will be. I struggle with very bad health as well (brain) and am expected a shorter life span. And if He should bring me home, it is a person just like Kim that I’d want my heart to go to. Love you Kim! My prayers and healing energy to you my friend!

  37. I always meant to sign up to be a donor but never have. This gave me the push to do it. My husband signed up too actually. Thanks for posting. I hope things work out for your sister-in-law soon.

  38. Please take this as a as a possible way to help. Not for any possible personal gain. I have worked with the Total Artificial Heart since 1984. Our company has helped hundreds of people bridge the gap from immenent demise to transplant. The SynCardia temporary Total Artifial Heart has almost 80% success on allowing heart failure patients to thrive until a donor heart becomes available. Check out our website to find out more. It is FDA approved for those who are in biventricular failure and are at immenent risk of death from biventricular heart failure. My daughter forwarded your link to your blog. May god bless you and your family. Let me know if there is anything I can do to help out.

  39. What a funny story !!! … So you’ve got the same husband as this person !

    http://www.sweettreatsmore.com/

  40. When I was doing my clinical rotation, I got the privilege of being in on a donor procurement surgery. The donor was an 11 year old girl that had been hit by a mail delivery truck while riding her bike home from school. As a mother it seemed to be the most tragic thing of all to happen to any parents. These parents were beyond unselfish and caring. That little girl saved the lives or changed the lives of 12 people–most of them children too. Being a donor is an honor and the greatest gift a person or family can give. My husband, my daughter and I are all organ donors. I will say a prayer for Kim in the hopes that she will very soon receive the heart that she needs and deserves. Giving the gift of life is the most precious gift and the best way to honor the life of a loved one lost. My thoughts and prayers are with Kim, her family and the family of her donor.

  41. I too have marked the donor box since I got my license. I have known a few people who have been recipients of organs but most have been living donations.
    I was very moved by Kimi’s words, I will pray for her to receive a healthy new heart and quick recovery. Thank you for sharing this very personal very important message.

  42. Thank you for sharing your experience as someone who is a family member and an individual. I recently lost an aunt who was ill. I don’t ever remember her not being sick. Despite her sickness she endured with courage and a smile on her face. 18months ago she recieved her much needed double lung transplant. It was our answer to lots of prayer and fasting. All we knew about her donner was that he was male. After her transplant she was a renewed person who embraced her second chance we are all grateful for this mans’ sacrifice. Since my aunt has passed away and her children have given me permission to complete her temple work. We are missing her greatly but are so grateful to have had that extra time with her. All thanks to her donner and his family. Thank you for bringing awareness to this issue. E

  43. Thank you for sharing this post. I didn’t see this as self-serving or selfish at all. Thank you for educating us and spreading the word about organ donation. Prayers that a heart will come your way soon.

  44. One of my best friends fathers just received a new heart after much waiting. I pray that you will too! Thanks for sharing your story. A side note, my husband is a ER physician…so we know all to well about the need of donors and how it all goes down. Ken sees many, many people donate and receive! Stay strong. xoxox

  45. I want to thank you so much for posting this! And I want to thank Kim for having the courage to share her feelings. I received a liver transplant in June 2002. I was 29 years old and was diagnosed with a liver disease at age 11. I had all these same feelings! I would purposely not pray for a donor because I felt so guilty about “wanting someone else to die just so I could live”. I had survivor’s guilt before the transplant even happened! And even though I was ecstatic when the call did come, it was all very surreal to me. I spent my 1 year transplant anniversary crying for my donor’s family. I still have moments like that but after watching the 20/20 episode of Robin Roberts’ journey with a bone marrow transplant from her sister I have a little bit of a new way of thinking about this. Her sister shared that her daughter told her that some people go throu life not really knowing what their purpose on Earth is, but she now knows what her purpose is…to help Robin. I have to think of my donor that way to. God knew that he/she would save my life and now I think my purpose is to help share about organ donation and how my faith has carried me through this journey.
    I pray Kim will receive her transplant soon, but I have faith that it is all in God’s time and He will never give her or her family more than they can bear in this journey. God bless!

  46. I am glad you did this posting, and my heart goes out to your sister-in-law. I feel glad that I am signed up to be an organ donor! My prayers are with you.

  47. Kim, Christy, and families -
    My husband is 20 years out from kidney and pancreas transplants, having been diabetic since age 6. Although I have never contacted the donor family (16 year old girl in a motor vehicle accident from Madison, WI area), I think of them often: birthdays, Christmas, family gatherings…all so cherished by the gift given by this unknown family. We have a daughter who would have lost her father in second or third grade. And we have an 8 year-old granddaughter who he is able to cherish. And we are so very grateful to the doctors and nurses who care for our loved ones in these situations.
    My prayers will be for your families that a donor is found soon. We had a picure in his hospital room of a large bird swallowing a frog head-first. The frog’s front legs were choking the bird with the caption “Never Give Up!”
    Blessings to your family!

  48. I am registered as an organ donor.I know what you are going through in a way my daughter is 14 and has cystic fibrosis she was waiting for a double lung transplant for 13 months and as I watched her health get worse as the days go by we finally got the call on Feb 13,2013 she is 16 days post transplant and I am forever grateful to the donor and family they did a selfless compassionate thing during the mist of their grief. Thank you to everyone that is registered organ donor it means a lot to the family that is getting the second chance at life with their love one.

  49. Brandi Camden says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this. It brought tears to my eyes,buy also an awareness to my soul. I plan on registering to become a donor and pray I can one day save a life. God bless Kimi and your family.

  50. As a sister to one of the most amazing women I’ve ever known, who also happened to be saved by a double-lung transplant, this issue is so dear to my heart. My sister thought about her donor often, and so did we. My sister passed away this last week, almost 14 years after her initial transplant, and I can’t express how thankful we are for those extra years. My sister was exactly like yours. Giving, Christlike, thoughtful, and she touched so many people’s lives. I was 13 when she had her transplant, so my time with her was doubled, and her daughter had the chance to get to know her. I hope and pray that your sister-in-law is given as much extra time as possible, because we need people like her in our lives to make us better.

    I also know you are a runner, so if you happen to be in Utah on August 3, 2013, they hold a 5k run, and a 2k walk (for those that want to support but can’t do much) called the Dash for Donation. All proceeds go towards educating people about organ donation.

    If your sister-in-law wants to talk about any aspect of organ transplants, or anything like that, I would love to chat with her. You can just send her my email. I will definitely keep all of you in my prayers, because it is such a difficult thing to go through!

    • Christy {The Girl Who Ate Everything} says:

      Thank you Cindi. I’m so sorry to hear about your sister. I’m glad too that her daughter was able to spend more time with her and I’m sure she was an amazing person. Thank you for sharing your story…

  51. angelitacarmelita says:

    I can’t think of a better gift… as a chapter closes in someone’s life, by becoming a organ donor, you open so many more for the recipient. Thank you Christy for posting this, and Kim, thank you for sharing your story. Like Jamie, I’ve been an organ donor since the age of 16, and I can’t imagine why anyone wouldn’t, but that’s just me (and hopefully millions of others!). Sending you the most positive thoughts and wishes.

  52. When reading this post I thought, “WHY am I not already a registered organ donor?” If my life abruptly came to an end, how could I possibly refuse extending the chance for another human being to continue living?
    I’m sure there are millions more who would ask the same questions if they gave it enough thought.
    I’ve just researched the registration process here in Canada, and will soon be in the Organ Donor Registry database. Thank you for posting this – my heart is with your family.