April is a bittersweet time for me. It was this month in 2013 that my Pop-Pop’s health – already ailing from two years of battling a horrific infection and living to tell the tale – took a turn for the worse. Adam and I were planning a June 2014 wedding, which we hurriedly moved up to August 2013 in hopes that he would pull through to see us get married.
Pop-Pop had overcome so much in his health and spirit, and those two additional years we got with him were some of the sweetest in my memory. But his kidneys and liver were failing, and he needed donor organs to buy more time. He passed away on April 25th 2013 at the age of 63.
All of this comes bubbling back each April and was certainly on my mind as I prepared to sponsor the Leprechaun Lilly event a few weeks ago. So when I met Debbie, a fellow sponsor at the sale, and heard her story, it resonated with me and I had to share it.
Debbie wasn’t just there as another vendor hoping to gain some new customers. No, Debbie was there to raise awareness of the importance of organ donation, and how just one person’s gift can save up to eight lives. EIGHT LIVES. Isn’t that incredible?
One of those lives is Debbie’s mom, Martha. Martha is alive and with us today because she received the gift of a new lung from an anonymous donor, whom they’ve lovingly nicknamed Rosie. In honor of Rosie’s gift and to help defray the cost of Martha’s medical expenses, Debbie put her creative talents to work and opened shop featuring adorable children’s gifts.
Every penny of the proceeds from Rosie’s Gift goes straight to helping Debbie’s mom with her medical expenses post-transplant. I asked Debbie how I could help, and with misty eyes, she simply said to tell people how easy and painless it is to become an organ donor, and the profound impact that gift can have on so many lives.
April just so happens to be National Donate Life Month. And while I’m painfully reminded of my own loss this month, I can’t help but feel tremendous hope and joy for all of those who are with us today due to organ donation.
If you’re not already an organ donor, click the link below for more information and to sign up today. And be sure to check out Rosie’s Gift for your next gift purchase – Debbie is an absolute joy to work with!