Sunday, July 19, 2009

Volunteer Work

So last night Rich and I went to a local minor league baseball game as volunteers for Life Alliance. That is the local OPO (organ procurement organization) that handled Sage's organ donation process. They are great people and I have had the honor of working with them in a variety of ways. Being able to volunteer with them has been a huge source of healing for me and now Rich (I hope). I have met the most amazing people through them. Last night was no exception. I met Scott and his wife. Scott was 40 years ago with several heart abnormalities that would have killed 99% of others born with the same thing. He was the "guinea pig" for several procedures over the years and made it through. He was blessed with a heart transplant 8 years ago. It was a very rough recovery and he had to basically re-learn how to live. He is now finally able to ride a bike and feels better than he has since he can remember. He now mentors children on the transplant list and tries to give hope to heartbroken parents. Hearing his story and seeing how transplants, no matter how long waited for, can change a life so profoundly touched my heart deeply. 

We also met a great lady who is going to work with us to get our story "out there". I told her that when we came home that first night after seeing Sage and knowing that she was not here with us any longer I scoured the web looking for stories of infant or even young pediatric donation. I found very very few. None on neonatal donation. I know that the OPO's have stories archived but you have to ask for them. If you are thinking about donation and want to see how someone else found the process and what their story was, you want it there. I wanted to read about another unfortunate family who went through what we did. How did they come to that choice? What did they do after, did they go see their child? Did they feel like they gained another child(ren)? There are plenty of stories about children waiting and those lucky enough to get a transplant but not of those families who gave the gift. We are not alone, I know that. Is it the stigma of a dead child? Is it the sheer tragedy of the situation? I'm not sure but I'l be damned if another mother or father goes looking for answers and finds nothing. 

Scott and Becca, it was an honor to meet you both :) 

1 comment:

  1. What a great thing you have done. You must have been so strong to make those decisions during your family's tragedy. I hope you are able to get your story out there so others have a place to turn.