I literally breathe every breath in appreciation and gratitude for my lung donor and their family.
I am more thankful everyday I wake up, just for the fact that I am still alive, breathing free of oxygen and lung infections.
I haven't written a blog in a while. I wanted to rant about organ donation, of course! It seems about that time. I have a small group of people that I would call family, some are blood related, some are not. The point is, I love them more than they know. They make me feel like family and that's what's important. Losing my brother was like loosing most of that family, because he's gone, and he was a huge part of it. We would have done anything to keep him here with us, but we didn't get to, it wasn't our choice. All I know is we would have loved more than anything in the world to have been given the opportunity to donate his organs, eyes, and/or tissue to people who needed them. Due to infections related to Cystic Fibrosis he wasn't able to donate anything.
I have read many myths regarding organ donation, like: "If I agree to donate my organs, the hospital staff won't work as hard to save my life." This is NOT TRUE. When my brother passed away, in the hospice house, the biggest issue at that moment, and every second, was his comfort and them ours, being together and being able to be sad and feel all of our feelings, no interruption. We were in an alternate world way past reality, because the passing of someone so close can't ever be really happening. Right?
Well it happens, and it happened to us, and it is horrible. There is no other way to explain it. We were given time to mourn, cry, not know what to think, and time be comforted by those around us. It was a while before the "Organ donor?" question was even brought up. He had been in hospice, we knew he didn't have many days left. They would have tried everything to make sure he was alive and comfortable until that final second when he couldn't be any longer, whether he was an organ donor or not, which he was.
If you, or someone you know suddenly passed away, doctors and emergency personel would be working their asses off trying to save you, not giving a rip weather or not you were an organ donor. In the event of you being declared dead/brain dead, they are going to find your wishes regarding organ donation, so they can do so, but not until then. Not until everything that can possibly be done to prolong your life has been done. Even if that means turning you into a vegetable operated by machines, not even being a organ donor can save you from that. THEY ARE NOT GOING TO KILL YOU FOR YOUR ORGANS. That even sounds ridiculous.
I mean think about it, if it weren't for my lung donor. Chances are I wouldn't even be alive today. Can you imagine that? One person chose to donate their organs, and because of them, you are alive today. If you have a reason(s) why you don't wish to donate your organs and are willing to share please message me. I would love to hear them. Otherwise, why the hell not? Are you planning on using them again sometime, after you're dead?
Think about it this way. You just woke up one morning alive, healthy, more than likely because all of your organs work. Now think about being one of the 115,000 people on the transplant waiting list who are the fighting for their lives, every minute of everyday. Waiting for one call. Think about waking up dying everyday, wondering if that call will ever come.
One day you get a phone call, theres a match. You end up in surgery and you wake up again. You wake up and all of your organs are working together, like they're suppose to but never did. For the first time for as long as you can remember you feel like what you thought normal was suppose to feel like. There is only one person in the world you owe this second chance at life to, who you give your never ending gratitude to, your complete love. Your donor. They chose to give that organ to you in the event of their death and now you are alive.
My donor, someone just like you, probably walked into the Department of Motor Vehicles one day and decided to check the box next to "Do you want to be an Organ Donor?" or said "Yes" when the person at the counter asked "Do you wish to be an Organ Donor?". Or a loved one passed away suddenly, without the chance to make their own decision, and their family, in the heartbreak and sadness said, "Yes" I would like their organs to be donated. We are all the same, we're all stuck on this planet together, we are all human, we're all afraid of dying and/or leaving the ones we love behind. We all want to be happy and live a meaningful life and we would all love more than anything to be healthy but that's not alway the case.
Organ donors chose to save YOU (or your loved one, your brother, niece, daughter, husband, sister, grandparent, aunt, best friend, maybe even your baby). In the event of your own organ failure, birth defect, genetic disease, or other unfortunate circumstance. They chose to be donors give YOU that second chance in case YOU needed a heart, a kidney, liver, maybe corneas, a pancreas, intestines, even tendons, bone, skin, maybe heart valves, or like me, maybe YOU needed two lungs. That's all you needed to wake up and see your family again. To wake up and be the healthiest you've ever known. All you needed to say "I love you" one more time. They said they would give you that, in the event that they no longer were able to use it, no longer able to live. They wanted their organs to be available for you, in the event of their worse tragedy.
When someone decides to be an organ donor I don't think they, or anyone but an organ recipient will ever comprehend the tremendous life changing gift they might give someone someday. I realize that it is that day. That day no one wants to think about, the day everyone knows will come but no one wants to acknowledge. But its inevitable and cannot be avoided. We are all going to die someday.
The thing is, when when you pass away nothing will matter. Nothing at all. You will be gone from this earth forever. Some people decide to donate their organs, and some don't. There are people literally fighting for their life every second of their day. Waiting for one phone call. One phone call that could change life as they know it forever. That will not only save their life, but relieve them of much of the pain and suffering they have known for most, if not their all of their entire life. For some, that phone call will never come, which is why the need for organ donors is so great.
For the lucky ones, the moment that phone call comes, the person who gave the gift of that second chance at life, their donor, is now and will forever be a hero. Donors will forever be remembered in everything the recipient does. These recipients cherish every second of their lives with their new gift. They grieve at the sunrise everyday for the rest of their life, for the life lost which has allowed them to live, and wonder every minute that goes by why they are so lucky, while someone else was not. Why someone was taken from the earth, but they were the chosen to stay. At the same time, every minute of everyday they feel incredible gratitude and appreciation for their donor and the new life that have been given. Realizing not even a second can be taken for granted.
Most people on the waiting list have no other choice, you are their ONLY chance. Not everyone will die a hero. Be an organ donor and make sure you do. I love my lungs, my donors lungs, my donor, I love my second chance and I, to this day, after over 2 amazing years of living on borrowed time, still cannot fully comprehend it all.
No one is going to live forever, I would be HONORED for any of my friends or family members to be able to live on through organ donation. I cant think of a greater gift after loosing one of my loved ones than to let someone else live. I cannot think of a greater gift PERIOD.
A gift is something given with the expectation of receiving nothing in return. But the gift of life will always be given something in return. Everyday. For the rest of the recipients life. In every breath they take, every beat of their heart, and every borrowed moment they are able to live.
If you are having a hard time deciding wether or not to be an organ donor, think about what you are going to use your organs for after you pass away. On the other hand, think about what one, or eight, of the 115,000 people who are currently waiting for an organ to save their lives, more than likely in a hospital bed, right this minute, would do with them.
The choice is yours.
End Rant. Thanks for reading it. -nina
This is no April Fool's Joke.
Currently more than 110,000 men, women and children are awaiting organ transplants to save their lives. Thousands more are in need of tissue and cornea transplants to restore their mobility and sight. Register to be an organ, eye and tissue donor today and provide hope to those who wait.
Since it is April Fools day. Here's a couple of my favorite jokes from the internet. But don't forget to sign up to be an organ donor! In case of the unfortunate event of your passing, you will be able to give life to sometimes over 7 people. People who will die on the transplant list otherwise. People who are alive because they are fighters, and they have hope that their organ will come soon. What an honor to give such a selfless gift in a time of such tragedy, and live on through another (or many others) who will be truly grateful everyday and continuously thank you and your family for giving them life. These 100,000+ people will not make it without these organs, and only encouraging others to be an organ donor can make a difference. So ignore the myths and talk to your family today. Be a hero.
"Dont take your organs to heaven...heaven knows we need them here!" Really.. what are you going to do with them?
Some April Fools:
Google Street Roo - Exploring the Outback one Bounce at a time.
The YouTube Collection: The Magic of YouTube in Your Hands
I have been meaning to post this awesome story, provided by Donate Life America. On October 11th, 2011 they announced the 100 Millionth Organ, Eye and Tissue Donor Registered in the U.S.
That is so incredible because "The United States can now boast that 100 million Americans — roughly 42 percent of the adult population –are registered as organ, eye and tissue donors in state donor registries." At least I got it up before October was over! These 100 Million people all signed up to donate their organs in the random chance the sudden end of their life could save many other human beings in need. Thank you to the 100 million, because I already was given my second chance from someone just like you. Caring, sharing, and loving. Against all odds.
Waiting List Statistics as of October 2011:
- 112,178 Patients Waiting
- 61,767 Multicultural Patients
- 1,746 Pediatric Patients
- 28,665 Organ Transplants Performed in 2010
- 14,510 Organ Donors in 2010
My friend Addie, who also has Cystic Fibrosis and had a transplant, has been working with her local Donate Life chapter, to promote organ donation. Which is obviously super important to A LOT of people. DUH, I mean just look at us! We are alive because our organ donors gave us their lungs when we were in need, they gave us their lungs for us to breathe, and now we have a entire second chance to live our lives! So Addie is giving back!
She is doing a fundraiser for the Donate Life NorthWests' Lifesavers Breakfast. I will add a blurb from her page but for the rest, more info, AND TO SUPPORT HER, please click the Link Below.
From Addie's fundraising page - "….Each year DONATE LIFE holds a breakfast called "LIFESAVER'S BREAKFAST" it is one of the most inspiring & moving fundraisers i have ever attended. I was fortunate enough to attend one year before transplant, then also last year just barely after my transplant!! The emotions & amazing stories i heard, i will never forget. It's educational to teach you about Organ/Tissue/Eye donation & how important it is... How many lives YOU or someone you love could possibly save. Or, what if you need a life saving surgery one day.. who knows who will help save YOUR life…."
Now go to her site to read the rest! She says it better than me. PS: Watch the video below (or on Addie's page) because it will be the beginning of the changing of your life, as well as, part of the reason Addie is doing what she is doing. Thanks for reading! She has lived through CF, she has seen and lived through what it can do, she has lost close friends. Help her out, for a BEYOND great cause, because she is giving back thankfully since she was given her lifesaving gift. Now show some support!! Click here for Addie's fundraising page at FirstGiving
First off, people are amazing. No matter how many times you or I may think otherwise, there are A LOT of amazing people in the world, and a lot of them in your own backyard. You just can't ever, NEVER EVER, let the people who are rude, ruin the fact that amazing people are out there, everywhere, most just living humbly while being wonderfully awesome.
With that said, I need to fire off a massive (in terms of words) list of awesome people that I must thank particularly today, which I must start with my donor, the person whose life had to end too soon and had a very bittersweet ending, since theirs ended at the very beginning of mine. Their healthy lungs fueled my brand new life. There are no words to express that thankfulness to a person who basically passed away only to give you the chance to survive in the world with people, the ones you love, and the ones who love you back.
People, it may have really only been one's life that changed, but many people are the reason that my life is the way it is. The reason I have this gift and second chance.
Next I must talk about my donors family, the idea that they had all the power in the world and in all their heartbreak to say yes or no to organ donation, YES OR NO!! They had the power to pretty much decide if I lived or died because I didn't have much left. This makes them 1 in a million on the list of people that I am more than extremely grateful for, I very possibly may not have been alive without them and their selfless decision. It is very possible, almost completely, seriously, honestly, am 100% certainly, possible that if I were to encounter these people I would either pass out, or be completely SPEECHLESS. Or most likely both. It is just too much sometimes knowing they are out there, grieving the loss of their loved one, while I am living some of the best times of my entire life. Lastly I must thank my family, friends, and my larger than normal group of people who form the greatest support group I could have ever imagined to have in my life, without them, this second chance at life wouldn't be anywhere near the same.
I know now and forever that I am and will continue to be speechless. Speechless to be alive. Speechless at my quality of life. Speechless at medical techonology, doctors and surgeons. Speechless at peoples generosity and support. Speechless <3.
Switching gears for a moment. As I sit here on my computer. Having just done a short bike ride yesterday, awaiting the weekend which I have been preparing for since I decided to go on this grand adventure for my 1 year lungiversary. I began thinking about 1 year ago. I year ago yesterday I was sitting in my bed on my bi-pap wondering if I was even ever going to be re-listed. Listed so that I would have a chance at new lungs, or even the hope of getting new lungs in the future. 1 Year ago, I knew that my lung function was less than 17% as it had been dropping and had not been tested for over 3 months. One year ago I was strapped to oxygen at 5 liters just to get barely 90% Oxygen saturation out of my Cystic Fibrosis infected lungs, strapped to my bi-pap if I needed rest, strapped to my IV which held life sustaining antibiotics that were no longer working, sucking on nebulizers with antibiotics and other things to ease my tired lungs and hopefully help the multiple daily coughing fits, strapped in my vest attempting to shake out the nasty bacteria filled mucus that plagued my poor dying lungs, strapped to my feeding tube trying to keep my weight up so that I wouldn't wither away before I got the call if i was blessed or lucky enough to even be re-listed. I was in that life, the life I had been living since my parents found out their 8 month old daughter had one of the rarest childhood diseases know to America at the time, knowing that I would not live into my teens or even that, not knowing what to expect in anyway except that I was their first child, and this diagnosis was our reality.
Lung transplant was the only reality worth having hope in for end stage Cystic Fibrosis, because no one wants to talk about the real unavoidable truth that accompanies end stage CF.
Exactly 1 year ago today I was re-listed. Finally, after almost all hope had dwindled to nothing, after the unavoidable questions started rolling through my brain. Thats when my dad got that call, the one we had been waiting for, and when he told us what had just happened we were just carrying on as normal, just knowing we needed to chill, pack go-bags like the other times I'd been listed, knowing we had to have our phones with us at all times because at any minute we could get that phone call. All the other times it had been months on the list and nothing had happened, hope wasn't as it used to be when waiting to be listed, but we had a certain excitement that only could be explained by the relief we felt as if we knew I might not die waiting for new lungs after all.
I might make it. The hope gained from being listed is immediate.
The part that is insane is what happened next. Around 10:00PM on September 15th 2010, only hours after the call alerting us of my re-listing, my dad received another a phone call, from the University of Washington, saying that they had lungs, they had new lungs for ME. Yeah, it was a bit hard to process, when only moments before we had gotten the call of the re-listing, who would have thought? NOT US! We both hopped in the car in a heartbeat, knowing we would feel better if we were already down there, my mom staying to pack last minute items in case she ended up down there for three or four weeks at a time, and attempting to call our close friends and family as well as she could, while other friends carried out the phone tree we had prepared months before. We arrived late as my dad was driving slow, slow driving and an already 2 hour drive equaled A LONG TIME IN A CAR WHILE PRACTICALLY DYING INSIDE. We were both in extreme shock and barely exchanged a word the entire way, this can't really be happening… that is all I could think.
It just a dry run. Its a dry run, I know it. Everyone had a dry run and I hadn't had mine so this had to be it! There is no possible way I am getting lungs tonight, that is just insane.
Or so I thought… Upon arriving at the hospital, after 1:00 in the morning. I was placed in an ICU room, the ones post lung transplant patients were taken to after their surgery. I changed into hospital attire and they told me to get comfortable and sleep if I wanted to, which felt like the farthest thing from possible to try and achieve at that moment. Eventually I passed out around 3AM probably from stress or sleep deprivation, who knows. As I woke up only hours later, it all seemed so weird, friends started arriving and family stayed close, all not knowing if this was going to be their last goodbye or a shared group effort in good thoughts so I would know that all these people would be there when I came out of recovery, and they would all be exactly the same. Either or we sat around, now September 16th 2010, trying to ease the feeling of anxiousness mixed with worry and a tiny bit of heart failure shaken in. They kept pushing back the time they were supposed to come get me saying, 1:00pm is the time, then 2:30pm etc, which made us even more on the edge. As nervous as we were, as soon as we finally calmed down a bit and began to set up a game, they came.
HOLY SHIT! And we're rollin'
Rolling away was, well.. I have no idea, it was like a moment of blackout, because there were only 2 thoughts in my head at that point. Here I go, I am either going to wake up with new lungs, and a second chance that not very many people in the world have been given, or I am going to die on the operating table.. Right then at that exact moment, rolling away from my mom after close to 10 failed attempts at getting an IV in my wrist artery for arterial gasses and other things, also proven good for taking your mind off of what was actually happening, I came up with a conclusion to fix every feeling I had had since the time of the call. This was it, I had a good run, I did everything I could in every aspect of life and I was content, If I came out alive, it was a bonus, but I wasn't afraid to know I might not wake up. I was only afraid of the people I would be forced to leave behind, all of them, the ones I loved.
1 Year Ago TODAY I Woke up with new lungs.
And here I am. Who am I to thank? MY DONOR OF COURSE! As well as doctors, nurses, & family.
I won't even begin to bore you with the facts, in other words, what I've been able to do since the day I walked out of that hospital less than a year ago, but, breathing 100% of the oxygen that I was meant to breath just had to take a detour. Lets just say RoadTrips, VisitingFriends, Snowboard, TrainMyDog, Hiking, Biking, Driving, SpendingTimeWithFamily, TravelbyPlane, Running, & among other MiscellaneousAdeventures I LIVED IT UP!
HERES TO YEAR NUMBER 2!
I NEED TO FINISH RAISING ALL THE MONEY NEEDED TO RIDE IN THE TRK-TRI-ISLAND IN 5 DAYS!!
Come on! Help me out!!! Send this to your friends, family, everyone you know because every $1 helps fight for clean air and lung disease and will help me be able to ride in the Trek-Tri-Island bike ride on my Lungiversary (my 1 year lung transplant anniversary)
Don't take it from me! Read about the various foundations and associations My team and I will as well as your donations will be supporting for this ride.
As most of you know I, and my teammates, must raise $750 each to go on my 1 year lung transplant anniversary bike ride. It's a 3 day ride in the San Juan Islands conquering a different Island each day. Oddly enough all of the proceeds and donations go straight to the American Lung Association to batter lung disease and fight for cleaner air for all. The team will be sporting American Transplant foundation jerseys to show some support for my donor and their family as well as support organ transplantation and donation. I REALLY WANT TO DO THIS! If we do not come up with the $750 each it will either have to be paid by us or we will not be able to ride. (I really do not have that kind of money You can click here to see my fundraising page)
There was an article in the Ferndale Record Jounral written about the ride and my Cystic Fibrosis/Lung Transplant life. I must raise enough money to do this ride!! Thank you for reading and considering donations, every $1 will help!
A little more background informations to annoy you into donating to this awesome cause!
So I have been very excited to be working towards going on this bike ride that just so happens to be on my lungiversary, exactly 1 year since my life was changed, saved, prolonged, whatever you want to call it, I WAS GIVEN THE GIFT OF LIFE, because of doctors, nurses, my support crew, and of course my one and only donor who was selfless enough to share their organs, so that others could live in the event of a tragedy, as well as their family for acknowledging those wishes. That is who made it happen, and because of them, I have had one of the best years of my life. Not only because I am ALIVE, but because I am healthy and I am living it up!
Please consider donating to my team as we need $750 each to participate in this. Oddly enough all the money goes to the American Lung Association. It was pretty random that I looked for an event to participate in on my year mark of having my new lungs, finding a bike ride to wear my new team transplant jersey, AND having the money go to the American Lung Association. So there you have it! I need $750 times 3 so HELP ME OUT!! This is going to ROCK!
YAY!!! I finally got one of Jamie's bracelets!!!
They are super cool parachord bracelets in almost any color combo, I chose the Donate Life colors! Think up some cool color combo that means something to you or even a sports team and check her site then buy it!!
Last but not least!!! Photos of ME, modeling my new bracelet, which is reversible, AND DONATE LIFE COLORS!!! Can't get any better than that! Thanks Jamie!!
I DID IT!!! Completed one of my longtime goals of participating in the Tour de Whatcom. The Tour de Whatcom is a bike ride that travels around Whatcom County in either a distance of 25, 50, or 105 miles. My parents and their friends had done it year after year while I awaited the day I could participate also.
This year, as most of you know, I received the gift of a new set of breathers, almost completely bacteria and infection free new lungs. Because of this I have been riding my new road bike as much as I am able. I am still not good at it, nor strong, nor stable, nor confident in any sense especially clip-in pedals! BUT this year I WAS signing up for the tour de Whatcom no matter what. I was singing up for THE 50!!!
Well I wasn't really what you call "ready" for it, but my Dad and I signed up for the ride less than 2 weeks before and I had no idea what to do to prepare for a 50 mile ride in 2 weeks. Needless to say I rode one 30 mile ride by myself in town with A LOT, I mean a lot of stops, for food, visiting friends and such, and then my Dad installed my clip-on pedals a few days later, about 5 days before the ride. Best idea for preparation??? You decide! Lol.
I tried to practice the clip-ins on 2 occasions, but I didn't care because I knew they would help me out, and I was expecting to fall so all was well. I did a short ride 2 days before with the clip-ins and felt alright so it was a go!
First we rode through town, Fairhaven and Bellingham, and then into farmland in Ferndale (which is where I live) and then out onto the waterfront in Birchbay where the turnaround was. There was a hill somewhat in the exact middle between the turnaround that was like DEATH for a biker like me (unless you are a beast as I saw many of them ride up and away like nothing it was horrid) I was having a rough time but unlike I had planned I did not have to walk the hill! (only a mere few second stop at a mid way driveway to let my legs cool down, which in the same place a giant black cow just stared at me like an alien while chewing his grass like cows do. Lungs? Not an issue, EVER! How rad is that?! And seriously how could you NOT be an organ donor???
Then, my only near death experience, happened to be on that same hill coming BACK, because I am incredibly terrified riding that bike down steep hills. After that, and about 15 miles to go, and the strong winds draining on me which felt almost like pedaling into a wall, while also being swayed side to side, I started to get pretty tired feeling and just sore overall, but we were so close and I was pumped I picked up the pace at the wee end until we FINISHED! And at that point i finished not only one but two goals that I had forever wanted to accomplish, (1) ride in the tour de whatcom and (2) ride 50 miles. Done and DONE! All thanks to my donor and their selfless family acknowledging their wishes to share life with others in the face of themselves parting with this world.
NINAS TOUR DE WHATCOM RECAP: Besides my water bottle somehow falling off my bike in the middle of the road, almost dieing coming down what was pretty much a hill on the side of a mountain, loosing 1 of my gloves, and a strong wind for most the ride back, I HAD A BLAST! Most of all I FINISHED IT and I didn't even take a nap all day afterwards!!!
Much love to my donor & their family - Save a life! Be an organ & tissue donor!
So I got some really good news back from the hospital towards the end of last week, which was that my bronchoscopy results and labs came back PERFECT! My rejection is gone for now and my CMV was better as well!
That said, I got to go to my best friends graduation, which would be my first real trip since my transplant! So my mom and I set off on in the car for a little over a 6 hour drive which happened to be pretty much monsoon raining the entire time. We crossed over a mountain pass and stopped for food, and then kept on for a while longer.
Soon after that I switched with my mom because it was so dark and rainy it was getting hard to see out of the car. We pulled over for gas and were considering getting a hotel and resuming the drive in the morning, the same morning that graduation was to take place at 8 am. So we drove a little further and finally did stop for a place around 11:00 pm.
We had a couple hours left so we woke up at 4:00 am hoping to make it in time. We ended up getting there and finding parking with perfect timing! We didn't get to see my friend (Carlin) as we were not a minute early and she was already seated with the other graduates but luckily her family had enough seats and they saw us walking around looking for someplace to sit so we were able to sit by them!
We watched the ceremony and I took some photos and afterwords we went to see Carlin once she got out of the stadium and this was her graduation cap!
“Everyone has a "best friend" during each stage of life-only a precious few have the same one.”
I am pretty sure that is one of the coolest thing that anyone has ever done for me! She is definitely the best best-friend of all time!
It's still National Donate Life Month!! Register to be an organ donor today!!
I have ALWAYS wanted to be a runner. I have always wanted to just slap on a pair of running shoes, lace em' up, and go for a run. Not just once, but whenever I wanted to.
When I was constantly sick with Cystic Fibrosis exacerbations, I tried to run but really running was few and far between. I did 3 5k's in a period of like 4 or 5 years, ran one, did one with oxygen, as well as ran/walked another. Every time I made it to the finish line I would be totally wiped out. And always wondering how the other people with normal lungs felt. Because of course most of them did not look even remotely tired comparing to how I felt. I know each person felt completely different after those 5k's, all racers feel different after any race of any kind for that matter, depending on how fit they were and how much training they have, as well as many other factors. I was just very curious.
I had actually completed the couch to 5k a few years (5-6 years maybe) prior to my transplant but the other times I just had done random slow run/walks and then just went out and tried so hard to push myself on raceday to make it to the finish. Usually shortly after the race I would end up sick or just super tired from overdoing it, and sleep a lot for a few days. I would also let my heart rate get to sometimes above 180.
Since I have been working through the couch to 5k program again in the past few months. I've been doubling most workouts, like instead of 20 I do 45 and instead of 30 I'll do 60. Then I started to realize I don't even get very tired durning those and was not tired afterwards. So I finally made it to week 5, which has a 20 minute run at the end, of course I was worried for this all week, but I surprised myself, I did it and felt good! I was just amazed!
So the next day I ran I tried to go further (totally bagging the couch to 5k plan), instead of 20 minutes I ran for 35 minutes straight! So the next time I stepped it up even more. I started covering the clock on the treadmill so that I just ran without any knowledge of time. It made it a TON easier for me! So this time I ran for an entire hour. I was in complete awe! I felt so good and I couldn't help but think that this is how the other runners must feel.
It was like a turning point in my new life, with my new lungs. I just did something I've always dreamed of doing. Like now it was all real. So during my run I decided to peek at the clock and it showed 45 min and I was still feeling really strong, at that moment I realized I could do everything I've ever wanted to do, of course I knew I would be pushing myself to do more now, but by then there were tears falling down my face. It's actually just really hard to describe the feelings I had towards my new found ability, and the whole time, there was only one thing on my mind… my donor, mostly their family, but I had their lungs, inside of me, and now they are gone, and they are the only reason I am here and able to do all these things, and continue being me, is because of the CHOICE THEY MADE. To be a hero and donate their life.
I also constantly think about the doctors, nurses, and surgeons who got me here today. As well as my family and friends. Because not too long ago I was dying, on full time oxygen on the couch. While just about a month ago I ran 4 miles.
There is an amazing God out there, and absolutely no way I can deny it.
Since it's the holidays and all I thought I would write to my organ donor because that is what I am thankful for this season! Please consider registering to be an organ donor if you are not already. :)
I am very sad that you have passed. I really hope and pray you had an amazing life while here on earth. I like to know that you are now in a better place. My thoughts are with your friends and family during these tough times, as these are the ones who are hurting the most. These times of pain for them will probably be with them forever. No one should have to lose a loved one, especially one so caring and loving enough to share their organs in the event of such tragedy.
The decision you made to donate your organs has changed many, many lives. As I have been fortunate enough to see first hand. People, myself included, are in disbelief of the positive effects and extraordinary outcome of organ transplantation today. Not nearly 2 months ago I was breathing oxygen with barely 17% lung capacity and now I am really able to live with over 75%, which it has almost never been before, and absolutely no oxygen. My life has changed and my life has been saved.
If it had not been for the decision you made to become and organ donor, I might still be sitting on the couch coughing and struggling to breathe, just trying to get through all of my therapies, and most of all get through the day. If it had not been for you I would not be able to walk, bike, and exercise daily as I am now able. If it had not been for you I might have never gotten the chance to live the life that most people take for granted, life with the ability to breathe. If it had not been for you I might never have seen my lung functions improve above 17%. If it had not been for you, I might not even be wring this today.
Donor, you made a decision that a lot of people don't or wont ever make. The selfless decision to save lives even after you're gone. The decision to change the lives of the many waiting for organs, their families, friends, an almost everyone they encounter. Bringing some hope to even the ones that may need organs in the future. Thank you for you decision. It changed my life beyond belief.
Even though thank you could never put my thoughts into words. Thank you organ donor. I would not be living this life without you.
As many of you know I received the gift of a a new life, a second chance, and that is all because of the selfless act of my donor choosing to be an organ donor. On September 16th 2010 I received new lungs. Lungs that are not infected with Cystic Fibrosis. Although I still have a routing of medical care to closely follow, and CF still remains in my pancreas and sinuses, it is nothing compared to the 22 years of fighting Cystic Fibrosis which my wonderful Doctors at Children's Hospital in Seattle kept me alive through.
Yesterday I was released from the hospital only 1 week after getting off of the ventilator which I was wide awake on for almost 3 weeks. I ended up walking and getting out of bed while on the ventilator which allowed me to keep some strength and not need physical, occupational therapy or rehabilitation for any longer than my hospital stay.
So now I am free! With only twice daily oral medications, blood glucose monitoring, blood pressure, lung function, weight, temperature, and heart rate monitoring. It may sound like a lot but is PROVEN MUCH LESS THAN I AM USED TO. I don't even know what to do with myself.
This morning my mom and I were amazed that the whole routine only took about 10 minutes. Compare that to 2 hours of inhaled medications twice a day, an hour of a therapy vest and/or flutter to loosen secretions, 3 times a day Iv antibiotics and sometimes 3 times a day inhaled antibiotics, and just about the same amount of oral medications that I have now. Thats not including all of the cleaning of the nebulizers and preparation of the Iv's, changing needles, flushing my port, blood draws for IV levels and everything else I have been doing my entire life.
Weather I have 8 hours or 30 minutes of treatments or monitoring in a day NOTHING COMPARES to the fact that I now have the energy to do things and CAN BREATHE! In short, I will be livin it up, as I always have, with the gift of breath and a whole lot more free time!!
This dude knows what's up! Read this article about an awesome dude who will do anything to save a life.
Walter Graham. Thank you and rock on!