Wednesday, December 19, 2012

be an organ donor

There have been a lot of emotions in the last few days. Toronto has been doing a record number of lung transplants, and James and I have seen many friends from the Transplant Gym breathe easy for the first time in years (without the support of oxygen). There is an incredible amount of joy for them. We remember that feeling. We remember that glow. We also know of the fear that comes with complications. It is hard to find words of comfort. These friends have become part of a very special community, or rather, a family of tightly knit lives. We understand the experience at a level that is beyond description. We don't need words. We lean on each other. We celebrate with each other. We mourn with each other. We feel for each other at a very deep level. There is no competition. We want each and everyone of our loved ones to get the right set of lungs, at the right time, even with the knowledge that about fifty percent will not survive the wait. That later part is harder to talk about. We need to believe otherwise, but there are always reminders of the reality of living so close to death.

This week, a friend of mine, a "Cyster Wife", said good-bye to her fiance. It was her birthday, and had been exactly a year to the date of his proposal. He, like James, had Cystic Fibrosis, and was at 12% lung function awaiting a second double-lung transplant. The CF Wives come together during these times. We pray for the family of loved ones lost. We send love (and love and more love) in their direction. We feel the pain as though it was our own and grieve alongside them. We hold our loved ones closer and closer. We all deserve to breathe easy. Cystic Fibrosis is a cruel disease.

The lack of available organs for transplant is another part of this story. Please visit the links of the right to register online in Ontario and British Columbia. Talk to your friends and family about your wishes. We need to open the dialogue. It could be you. It could be someone you love.

Edit: Good news. Another friend got his call. It will be a few more hours to find out whether the lungs are a viable match. 

According to the Trillium Gift of Life Network, James is one of 83 people currently waiting for a lung transplant in Toronto, Ontario. There have been 104 lung transplants to date in 2012. We really are at the international centre for lung transplants. My hope is that James can become one of those statistics. These are hopeful numbers.

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