Remembering those who gave
Saturday, March 26, 2011
Remembering those who gave
Donation Clinical Specialist
At first glance, while scanning the crowd as everyone gathered,
you would not know how truly remarkable each individual is -- on the surface, they are everyday people. As the lights dim and the music begins to play, some begin to smile holding tight to the loved one sitting next to them, while others have tears rolling down their faces, hand clenched in their laps.
As the names begin to be called and photos are flashed across the screen, each person makes their way to the front,lighting a candle to honor their loved one who they deeply miss. You see, everyone here tonight has something in common:they each said “yes” when given the opportunity to save a life. They each gave an extraordinary gift -- the gift of life. At a time when their hearts were heavy with pain from their own loss, they saw the chance for their loved one to leave behind a living legacy through one last gift of organ and tissue donation. That night, they all came together to remember and honor their loved one and the living legacy that they passed on.
LifeGift, Community Tissue Services and our hospital partners across Fort Worth come together every year to remember and honor those families and their loved ones who gave the ultimate gift of life with a candle light memorial service.
This year’s service took place at Highridge Church in Benbrook, with nearly 400 in attendance, representing more than 60 donors – the highest attendance we’ve everh had.. Our honored speaker this year was Dr. Ann Miller, Director of Pastoral Care at Cook Children’s Medical Center. Dr. Miller provided an uplifting tribute to the families and the loved ones they lost. She highlighted the difference organ donation makes for those receiving the gift as well as those who gave the gift. This year, we were also honored to have Linda Mize’s son, Jeremy Martin perform Falling Stars, an original piece that he composed especially for this event. His piece tugged at everyone’s heart strings and was truly touching. Our evening concluded with a reception in the foyer of the church where LifeGift coordinators where able to re-connect with their donor families.
Every time we have our Donor Memorial Service, we are all touched with how special each and every one of our donors and their families are. They have the strength of many and hearts of gold all of them saying I am glad I said yes, it truly makes a difference.
As the national waiting list for those who need organs continues to grow – with more than 110,000 Americans in need of organ transplants and 18 people dying daily due to the lack of available organs, I ask you to take a minute and ask yourself, “Do I have what it takes to make a difference?”
If you have five minutes, you do. Please register to be an organ, eye and tissue donor at www.donatelifetexas.org.