As I have mentioned already, April is National Donate Life Month. Yesterday was Donate Life Day at the State Capitol. LifeSource (the non-profit organ and tissue agency serving the Upper Midwest) hosted the event. It started out with a presentation in the rotunda at 9 am. Volunteers and LifeSource staff gathered in our matching t-shirts. Secretary of State Ritchie talked about his personal connection with donation. His daughter was killed by a drunk driver 10 years ago. Her heart saved a girl who recently graduated from high school.
After the short program, volunteers went to personally visit their state representative and senator. As individual, we set up appoints in advance of the event. After, we were invited to the Senate Gallery to be honored as volunteers.
The most inspiring part of the day for me occurred while sitting in the gallery. Although I know some of the LifeSource staff due to my former job at the Red Cross and then volunteering, I do not know their volunteers. While we were waiting I was chatting with the volunteers on either side of me. To my left was a woman who had received a heart. To my right was a woman with a 12 year old donor heart. She appeared quite ill. She explained she had been on the donor list for 2 and a 1/2 years for a second transplant. She was in the hospital for her first transplant when she turned 22 years old.
I advocate donation because my life was impacted on the opposite end. These woman had received, and one of them was in NEED. We are lucky to live in a state that is progressive in promoting donation, and I hope our activities yesterday help to keep us in the forefront.
How can one say 'No' to donation? 18 people in the U.S. today will die waiting for a transplant.