Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Perfectly Practical #135 - Give Life

30-Day Giving Challenge


I love the holiday season and by that, I mean Thanksgiving and Christmas.  This is my absolute favorite time of the year.

I love the spirit of giving and receiving.  Blessings and thankfulness.  Mercy and grace.

Ever since 2010, The Little Pink House has not only participated in, but relished every moment of the 30 Day Giving Challenge.  It has been such a beautiful time for us and we have felt so blessed to be able to meet whatever needs come available - even the difficult ones.

The people rejoiced at the willing response of their leaders, for they had givefreely and wholeheartedly to the LORD. David the king also rejoiced greatly.
- 1 Chronicles 29:9  

I've written before about our good friends the Operinos and how their son Anthony was born with a congenital heart opportunity-for-a-miracle (defect is such an ugly word.)

We have held our inhales with them when their son spiked a fever out of nowhere and shared in their exhales when the doctor said it is "only pneumonia."  Only pneumonia.

We have spilled our tears alongside theirs when Anthony and Operina have had to drop everything and get to Children's Medical Center in Dallas immediately.  We have shared in the triumph of Anthony being able to attend the Kidd's Kids trip to Disneyworld after barely being cleared from Endocarditis.

A constant path of twists, turns, never knowing what's ahead - the Operinos live on a perpetual extreme roller coaster ride.  But now, there is the opportunity that they could downgrade to a kiddie coaster thanks to an organ donation.

If you read their story before, you know that his first surgery was at 9 days old and at that time, he received a heart valve from a donor.  Organ donation saved his life in the very beginning and now, hopefully, it will do it again.

I have been an organ donor on my driver's license for as long as I can remember.  The way I see it, if I have gone to be with my Maker, I don't need those organs anymore so if they can go to someone who can benefit from them, it would be like a last(ing) gift to those left behind.

But a checked box on a driver's license form is very different then staring at the page of Donate Life Texas.  And staring is what I did for a long time.

Why was it so hard to fill out that form?  I just proclaimed that I won't need this body anymore once I'm gone.  I read all of the F.A.Q.s and myths and facts, why was it so hard to finish that form?

After seeing the statistics I was overwhelmed with the gravity of what I was doing.
My body, God's creation, was going to potentially give life to someone else.
My death meant someone else could live.
My death meant someone else like Anthony could live.
Wow.

As tears streamed down my face it was no longer just a good idea, it was personal.  Although my organs won't necessarily ever go to Anthony, it is from knowing him, that prompted me to do more.  In fact, I probably will never cross paths with the future recipients of my donation, but you might.

I explained what I was doing to Engineer and he agreed that I should go for it (he himself is an organ donor.)  Then I prayed for the donors and recipients.  From each one of those grieving families that lost a loved one, there will be many more families humbled by the selfless gift that saved theirs.

That's when I pressed the continue button to save my information.
Save.  That's exactly what I want to be able to do.

If you are considering being an organ donor, I would encourage you to check out Donate Life America and from there you will be able to find a donation page specific to your state.

*Update*  As of January 1, 2014, Anthony has been given the greatest gift imaginable through the generous and selfless act of organ donation.  We pray for the donor's family and their loss and are forever grateful to them for their precious gift - the gift of life.

This is part of the 30 Day Giving Challenge and We are That Family.

29 comments:

  1. What a beautiful way to put it. From ashes we were formed and to ashes we return. Our body is simply a shell after our spirit departs and goes on to be with the Father.
    my sweet hubby and I both are organ donars.There is nothing glorious in this earthly body that can even compare to what the Lord has in store.

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  2. Hi! I couldn't find your email so I hope it's okay that I'm leaving this here.

    Since we both participated in the 30 Days of Giving Challenge I thought you might want to participate in my December Photo a Day Challenge. Here's all the information in case you're interested: http://embracingbeauty.com/2012/12/01/december-photo-a-day-challenge-2012/# It's meant to encourage people to slow down, enjoy each day, and remember the reason for the Christmas season. I hope you'll join me!

    Have a wonderful weekend!

    Ashley

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    1. Thank you for the invitation Mrs. Ashley. That's a great way to get people to stop and look at life from different angles. ;)

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  3. What a beautiful post. I am an organ donor as is everyone in my family. Heaven forbid anything should ever happen to one of my children, but I wouldn't hesitate to share whatever was still useful if one of them should die.

    I'm so glad your friends were able to receive the gift of life for their child. I will pray for continued healing for them and for the family who lost someone. Thank you for the reminder about both sides of the equation.

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    1. Anthony's story has made organ donation ever so much more real to us and has caused us to become advocates. Thank you and your family for being donors.

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  4. I very strongly believe in organ donation and I commend you. My husband's cousin (just 30 years old) suddenly developed an eye disease that would have left her completely blind. She received a transplant and can see again. What a wonderful gift she received.
    Blood and plasma donation are also so important, and an easy way to give back. Great post and happy SITS day to you!

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    1. Thank you and so pleased for your husband's cousin. You know first hand how life-changing, or life-giving, organ donation can be.

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  5. Thank you for using your voice to share this. It is so important to give back. I'm so thankful for my health, and if someone else could benefit from my organs when I die, why wouldn't I do that? Nice to "meet" you and Happy SITS day!

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    1. Thank you Ms. Kelly. Nice to meet you too. :)

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  6. It's easy to forget that everyone has their own challenges to contend with--especially when you feel inundated and overwhelmed with your own stuff going on. I am so blessed to have children who are healthy and my heart goes out to this couple who deal daily with the challenges of having a child with a heart that doesn't work properly. I am an organ donor and have been since I first got my license (I can't give blood because I don't fit the weight requirements--we'll see how long that lasts after this winter!). Your friends are lucky to have friends like you and your husband. You sound like such wonderful support for them--that I'm sure is invaluable to them.

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    1. We are the ones who feel very blessed to have them as friends Ms. Nicole. :)

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  7. God keeps giving us, it would be ungrateful to withhold when we can give. Thanks a lot for sharing this beautiful inspiration. Our lives belong to God and he created us to help one another.
    Happy SITS day Julie, enjoy every moment!

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    1. Absolutely Ms. Ugochi, our lives do indeed belong to God. :)

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  8. I really love this perspective. While it can seem weird to offer your organs to help others, thinking about the fact that you will be no longer on the planet when this happens, it is an important decision. Just imagine how many lives you can touch after you are gone. Amazing.

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    1. Each organ donor can help up to 50 people which is astounding to me. Tissue, corneas, veins, major organs, so many opportunities to serve people even in death. It is truly amazing.

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  9. Wow. I am so glad I stumbled on to this post. I am a donor- have been since I knew what organ donation was- I was under 16 then but told my parents if something were to happen to donate away. Now that I am an adult, I have a kidney disease that will leave me looking for a kidney at some point. My husband knows if I die in the mean time to donate whatever is usable.

    I have been saved more than 11 times over by blood donors in the past few years since my diagnosis, so def give your organs, but also give your blood.

    Be a donor. Save a life (or several lives.)

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    1. Absolutely! I tried to give blood recently and was told that due to our time abroad, the three of us will not be able to give blood for the foreseeable future. That makes me sad knowing how important blood donation is and we are unable to take part.

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  10. I have been a huge proponent of organ donation since it help extend the life of a friend I had growing up. He's been gone eight years now, but I still think of him fondly and give thanks for those who give the gift of life through organ donation.

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    1. We are thankful for the donors and their incredible gift of life every day now too Ms. Rabia.

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  11. What a beautiful message and such a meaningful way to find hope in another's tragedy. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. The donors are life-givers and we are so thankful for them.

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  12. What a lovely and thoughtful post. So happy I found your blog on SITS. Have a lovely SITS day!

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  13. What a lovely and kind thought you've posted here. So glad I stumbled upon your wonderful blog through SITS!

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    1. Thank you and thank you again Ms. Queen Bee! :)

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  14. Hi, visiting you via The SITS Girls, what a touching post! I had a co-worker once whose wife had received a kidney transplant. You are right, it is VERY different when you put a face, a name and a life to it! Wish you the best with your blogging!

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    1. Thank you for visiting. :) You know first hand how life-changing that last gift from the donor can be. We have been very blessed to watch Anthony thrive due to his new heart. And are thankful every day for his donor.

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  15. Oh my heart.... what a beautiful post and such a beautiful mission to give LIFE through our bodies!! I am a donor- and I absolutely love that Anthony ended up 'taking that opportunity for a miracle'! Oh, how I love that line!!!

    I think I may be your next biggest fan. SO lovely to meet you!!! HAPPY SITS DAY!!!

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    1. So nice to meet you too Ms. Chris. Anthony is now nearing the end of his time in Dallas. He should be coming home in a few weeks and we cannot wait to welcome him with open arms and full hearts.

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Your turn! Let me know what perfectly practical comments you have.

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