From Our Blog:
Memorial Day weekend 2014 was a very special time for Donate Life Ambassador and grateful liver recipient, Linda Zelada. It was during this weekend that Linda had the extraordinary opportunity to meet her donor’s family, in person, almost 11 years after receiving her life-saving transplant. Linda says that the meeting was amazing and that she had dreamed of this day for years.
Read on to learn more about Linda’s remarkable meeting with her donor’s wife, children, parents and extended family. It is sure to put a smile on your face!
Let me tell you about one of the most wonderful meetings of my life—Memorial Day weekend 2014! It was 11 years after my liver transplant, and after constant prayers and hope, many letters, cards, and gifts sent, I was invited to meet my liver donor’s family in South Dakota. I just needed to thank them and assure them that the generosity they were willing to give me in the midst of their tragedy was so gratefully received and deeply appreciated. In early May I had received an invitation to come to South Dakota. My donor’s wife sent a note saying that they wanted to meet me and included a special message from the second youngest of the four daughters. She wrote, “Thank you for not giving up on us when we didn’t write back all these years. I thank God every day that of anyone, it was you my daddy saved. If not, you would never have gotten the chance to see your three beautiful grandchildren and they would never have been able to meet such a kindhearted person.”
When I arrived in South Dakota, I was greeted by the whole family. They brought me a dozen pink roses. There were open arms and hugs by my donor’s wife, his four beautiful daughters, his parents and brother, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends galore. We spent 3 days visiting and sharing our life stories and attending the oldest daughter’s high school graduation celebrations. The climax of the visit came Monday evening at the cemetery. The whole family gathered and wrote loving messages to my donor on balloons. At sunset everyone released their balloon from his gravesite up into the heavens.
How grateful we all are that the life-giving organ that was once my dear donor’s, now still lives on and keeps me alive.
If you have had a transplant, or had a family member who donated to another, NEVER give up hope of one day uniting the two families together who have so much in common. Be ready to say thank you in person…for it will change your life in a most positive way.
LifeSource is thrilled to once again host Brianna Doby of Positive Rhetoric on Friday, August 8th from 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm, as she facilitates a specialized training session for current LifeSource Donate Life Ambassadors.
Brianna is the owner and founding partner of Positive Rhetoric, an organization that conducts innovative trainings for staff and volunteers of Organ Procurement Organizations throughout the country. More importantly, as a donor daughter herself, Brianna is someone who truly understands the impact of donation.
Front Stage/Back Stage Theory Workshop: The F/B Theory Workshop creates a framework for volunteers to recognize healthy boundaries in sharing personal stories, protect volunteers from burnout, and examines tools for talking about complex, emotional subjects in safe and productive ways.
Messaging: The Messaging Workshop is about learning new skills and techniques for reaching out to the community, while adhering closely to LifeSource’s messaging points. This workshop teaches volunteers how to touch more hearts, change more minds, and find their voices for organ and tissue donation.
This training is for current/registered Ambassadors only and will take place at our office in St. Paul, MN, with the opportunity for others to join us via webinar. If you are interested in joining via webinar, please indicate that in your RSVP.
When & Where
Friday, August 8, 2014
2:00 pm – 6:00 pm
2550 University Ave. West
Suite 315 South
St. Paul, MN 55114
RSVP to Teresa Turner at firstname.lastname@example.org or 651.603.7882. Space is limited (including webinar attendees) so RSVP soon!
Community Advocacy Coordinator
2550 University Ave W, Suite 315S
St. Paul, MN 55114
“Gallop with the Mustangs” for Sugar Loaf Ford’s 14th Annual Mustang Run & 50th Anniversary Celebration
Sunday July 13, 2014
9:00 a.m. Assembly
10:30 a.m. Depart
From Sugar Loaf Ford gallop through the beautiful Root River Valley to Harmony, Minnesota. Lunch will be enjoyed at Wheelers, then on to Decorah Iowa to the Winneshiek Wildberry Winery for a group toast to Mustang’s 50th Anniversary. Cost to you is gas, food and $15.00 donation fee along with cost of T-Shirts commemorating the run.
Music – Refreshments – Prizes – Fun
Bring your own camera for a photo of you and your Mustang under the Mustang Gallop Banner!
PRE-REGISTRATION IS A MUST BY CALLING ROXIE at 507-454-5170 or 888-412-3673 or EMAIL Lora at email@example.com
Funds raised will benefit LifeSource. Bill Hutmacher, Sugar Loaf Ford’s former owner, received a heart transplant in 2011 and has been actively supportive of donation ever since.