Houston Woman Holds Tight to the Promise of a Rainbow: April is National Donate Life Month
Houston Woman Holds Tight to the Promise of a Rainbow
-April is National Donate Life Month-
(Houston, Texas, March 27, 2018) – Karla “Karlie” Sageth of Houston dreams about something most of us take for granted: she dreams about being able to breathe.
At 29 years of age, Karlie is waiting for a second lung transplant to save her life. As a child, asthma ravished her lungs and as she described it, “made her hungry for air.” In 2014, Karlie received her first lung transplant, but unfortunately, she went into rejection two short years later and now finds herself in need again.
It is stories like Karlie’s and so many others which the donation and transplantation community will reflect on during National Donate Life Month in April.
National Donate Life Month (NDLM) was instituted by Donate Life America (DLA) and its partnering organizations in 2003. Celebrated in April each year, NDLM features an entire month of local, regional and national activities to encourage Americans to register as organ, eye and tissue donors and to celebrate those that have saved lives through donation.
LifeGift, the organ procurement organization (OPO) that services the Houston area, will mark the month with a variety of celebrations and activities to celebrate lives saved and legacies of those who gave.
Each year, DLA selects a theme to illustrate the beauty that organ, eye and tissue donation holds for the donor family, the recipient as well as those still waiting. This year, the artwork is a rainbow, signifying how the presence of a rainbow provides optimism and motivates us to endure during dark times. Organ, eye and tissue donation is the bridge of comfort and hope between one family’s mourning and another’s healing – turning tragedy into renewed life.
Karlie’s first transplant allowed her to become engaged and marry her husband, Elwin; to buy a dream car, a Jeep Wrangler; obtain her driver license and to work to help her mother out with medical bills. A second lung transplant would mean more time with Elwin, her mother, grandmother and her twin sister, as well as her nieces and nephews. Karlie dreams of traveling to faraway places, like Switzerland and the Netherlands.
“Have you ever seen the movie ‘Heidi’,” Karlie asks with a smile. “I want to do what Heidi does and be in the mountains with goats!”
“As LifeGift celebrates National Donate Life Month, we reflect on the true ‘power of YES,’” says Kevin Myer, president and CEO of LifeGift. “By registering to be a donor and considering living donation, you can change one ray of light into a spectrum of healing and compassion and help people like Karlie.”
This April, the donation and transplantation community will celebrate that 56 percent of the U.S. adults have registered their decision to make LIFE possible and be organ, eye and tissue donors at the time of their deaths. This provides hope to the nearly 116,000** people who wait for a transplant and a second chance at life. On average, 22 people die each day because the organ they need is not donated in time – that is almost one person dying every hour. The community can help be registering to be an organ, eye and tissue donor and inquiring about living donation.
**Data from the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) as of December 11, 2017.
# # #
Established in 1987, LifeGift is a nonprofit 501 (c)3 organization that offers hope to individuals needing transplants in Southeast, North and West Texas. A founding member of Donate Life Texas, the organization that runs the organ, eye and tissue donor registry, LifeGift services 10 transplant centers and 200 donor hospitals. It is accredited by the Association of Organ Procurement Organizations (AOPO) and the American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB). For more information, visit www.lifegift.org, follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram.