Organ & tissue donation had never crossed my mind until I came face to face with the fact that due to my advanced Cystic Fibrosis I needed a double lung transplant to survive. I went from living a fairly normal life as a teenager playing sports, hanging out with friends & family, performing in the school band and working part-time to being dependent on others for doing daily tasks and becoming reliant on oxygen 24/7. My life was turned upside down as I realized that showering, brushing my hair or getting out of bed would leave me exhausted & breathless. I spent hours each day performing daily treatments in an attempt to stay healthy, but eventually ended up being placed in the hospital multiple times over a year and a half on IV antibiotics and intense treatments. Until this point, I had never thought about organ and tissue donation simply because it had never been a factor in my own life. Now my health was in the hands of someone else.
The Choice To Be A Donor Saved My Life!
I was 17 when my doctors told me I would require a double lung transplant in order to regain my health and be able to go on to live a longer, more enjoyable life. I was in my early 20's when chronic rejection set in and I was faced with the reality that I would require a 2nd double lung transplant, waiting on another hero. My health & quality of life still amazed me some days in comparison to the days with my Cystic Fibrosis ridden lungs, and for that I will forever be thankful to my donor. I cannot fathom how difficult it must have been for the family of my donor to say goodbye to their loved one and donate the gift of life to a stranger; I was left hoping another family would choose to do the same. That hope became reality 6.5 years after my first transplant and I am now the healthiest I have EVER been in my life. My donor families have unknowingly changed my life and the lives of everyone I know for the better. I carry on the legacy of my donors by giving speeches, attending awareness events and simply living my life to the fullest. So today, I ask you to please register your consent to be an organ & tissue donor. Take your chance to become someone's hero!