First things first. No, this post isn’t about giving birth. I have no idea what that’s like and I’m in no hurry to find out!
During the days immediately following the shooting in Tucson, while still reeling from the news of their daughter’s death, the parents of nine-year-old Christina Taylor Green made a decision that changed the life of two families– and perhaps helped to heal their own. Just days after their precious little girl was shot dead during a massacre, her mother and father donated her organs so that other people might enjoy a longer, more enriched life.
While the details of which organs were donated were initially kept quiet, it was later learned that, thanks to Christina’s final act of selflessness, two children can now see with her corneas.
The news allowed me to experience an overwhelming sense of humility, that this little girl, so much younger than myself, had helped others through her death. Indeed, it sparked a discussion in my family that we’ve always avoided– what to do after one’s death.
Although death, dying and losing my loved ones is a topic I’m still extremely sensitive about, I decided it was time to bite the bullet and at least clue my parents in on my thoughts on the matter.
Mami and I are both on the registry for donating bone marrow. Although it seems scary to imagine the procedure that would entail, I don’t really think I should worry unless I am contacted about a potential match. Besides, after having 19 invasive surgeries, I don’t believe that would be something I can’t handle!
I recently began giving blood now and then, a couple of years ago. I try to space out my donation times as much as I can, because I used to have a problem with my iron being too low. But given that I like to give what I can to others, it seemed a no-brainer to me that I would want my organs donated when the time came for that.
But, I struggled with actually filling out the form and talking to my parents about it. However, I have a deep faith that this life is certainly not the end, and whatever anyone’s religious beliefs are, donating your organs is certainly a way to ensure one’s legacy of helping others will continue.
I just thought it was worth talking about– at least once.
If any of you are interested in learning more about organ donation, please visit Donate Life America.
With that difficult topic aside, I want to mention that, this past weekend and today even, I’ve felt a renewed sense of purpose for this cause. I know I mentioned in my last post that I had been struggling with “negative people” who have tried to put me down during this journey. After a series of seemingly “random” events, I now feel, more than ever, that I will not fail in bringing awareness to spina bifida, on quite possibly a national level.
Starting an initiative to raise public awareness of spina bifida has been, quite literally, my childhood dream, and I’m not willing to compromise on something that has taken me so long to get started, let alone to show positive results.
I do hold the best interests of the spina bifida community very much in my heart. I want people to realize the different ways that spina bifida can affect us. I want to remove the stigma that it has in the media, and let expectant moms know that their child can be successful in life.
The next leg of my journey may not be easy, but then again, neither was the first one. But I’m here. You are reading this! And I’m not ready to give up.