Flower

The Days of April

April, National Donate Life Month, is almost over.  Throughout the month, I have had the opportunity to meet a lot of incredible people and attend some very touching events. Mike and Catherine

Two of the people I had the pleasure of meeting were Mike Parke, Funeral Director at the Parke’s Magic Valley Funeral Home, and his wife Catherine.  Mike had a liver transplant in 2008 and says he feels better than he has in 20 years!  He expressed gratitude for the overwhelming support he received from people in his community prior to and following his transplant.  He is now a strong advocate for donation and is looking for ways to make a difference in his community and throughout Idaho. 

I attended a community event at Ogden Regional Hospital where Dr. Wahlstrom and his son Andy spoke about the impact organ donation has played in their lives.  Andy received a kidney from his younger sister, Mallory, several months ago.  Dr. Wahlstrom shared what is was like as a father to watch as two of his children were wheeled in to surgery.  Both Andy and Mallory, who is the current Miss Kaysville-Fruit Heights, are doing well. 

The Wahlstroms were followed by Paul Cardall, concert pianist and heart recipient.  Paul told a little about his heart condition and the disappointments and tragedies his family has faced in the last year.  He has gained a new perspective flag raisingthat has increased his great gratitude toward his donor and their family.  He then played a song he wrote for a baby he met at Primary Children’s Hospital, “Gracie’s Song.”  This beautiful song set the mood for the raising of the Donate Life flag which took place immediately following the speakers.

I also continued to see the need.  I interviewed a teenager on dialysis, met a toddler who needs an intestinal transplant, and spent some time with a woman who needs a new heart.  I hope next April finds these people doing well and ready to celebrate with us.  If you haven’t registered as an organ, eye, and tissue donor, it’s as easy as logging onto http://www.yesutah.org/ and clicking on the big, yellow “Register Now” button.

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