Learn how Kelly’s gift keeps on giving.
December 4, 2007 is the day that my mom became an organ donor – and the day that I truly became aware of organ donation.
We lost her very suddenly and it was through that traumatic experience that I became part of a community that I never knew I needed. By becoming a donor, my mom saved two men with her kidneys, her liver went to science, and she impacted the lives of over 50 other people with tissue donations.
The grief nearly swallowed me whole. I loved her dearly, but clearly she was needed more by someone other than me. It is that notion that has carried me and my family through the last decade. My mother’s organs have saved numerous lives. That is why I now volunteer with Gift of Life, which provides support and information regarding organ donation. Recently my dedication to this organization became even more personal.
I had never met Rok, a deacon at my friend’s church and who was in need of a new kidney. He was one of more than 113,000 people in the United States alone that are on a transplant waiting list. I felt compelled to help and believed that Rok and I were destined to be in each other’s lives. “He’s too much of a light; he’s too good of a person to let that light go out.” I knew that if I donated my kidney, I could save his life. Now, our families are forever intertwined. Our hope is that by sharing this story, others will become inspired to be organ donors as well. Rok calls me his ‘angel’ and often looks behind me for my wings.
You can register for the Gift of Life Donor Program at donors1.org. Support organ/tissue donation by running or walking in the 25th Annual DonorDash.org on April 19.