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A Young Man Dies, and His Family Meets a Life He Saved!

The GangWhen someone donates their organs, it often means that person’s family has made a difficult decision to let their loved on pass on. For many it’s a very hard decision, during a very emotional time. But it saves lives, and Saturday night, I witnessed the truth of The Gift of Life.

Saturday night, Laura Lee (from ABC 6 News) and I were fortunate to be the hosts at the Gift of Life Transplant House Gala of the Decades – The ‘50’s, and we witnessed something that brought both of us to tears.

As an MC, you are the evening’s host, so we played Cocktail Hour Trivia, we joked, we laughed, we had a blast. We were on stage introducing the speakers, and when it was James and Lauratime, we help Ron “Elvis” Hanson with the live auction (he rocked it, by the way…he really brought in the bids!).

During the night we heard from the famous Golden Gopher Pat Micheletti about his experience as a kidney transplant recipient. He told us of feeling tremendously blessed by family, friends, Mayo Clinic’s phenomenal people, Transplant House family, and the love of our community.

And then we had a surprise. A donor recipient and the family of the donor were both there…and had never met. They’ve exchanged some emails, but that’s it.

Laura Lee brought them together on the floor. He, a double lung transplant recipient of just 10 months, with his wife. And a mother and daughter. A mother and daughter who lost their son and brother just about ten months ago. When their son passed, they were in that same hard place, and went with their son’s wishes…and he saved four lives that night, he brought eyesight back to another person, and helped others with his tissues.

Then they met. And the bond and the love was obvious…

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They all took the microphone, they all said words of love, kindness, and life. And honestly, I think it was the first time I’ve ever cried on stage. A Facebook Live video shot from the front is below…it’s hard to hear since we were in a hanger, but it’s still powerful.

THE NEXT DAY

PILLSSunday, I go pick up a bottle of tacrolimus, one of my anti-rejection medications. It keeps my body from rejecting the kidney my sister gave me December 21, 2012. There in line, I’m thinking about what Pat said last night. About the blessings

At the counter I know the pharmacy tech, she moved here from another country, and then started a whole new life. Her story is also a miracle. We chat for a second, she invited me to an coming party, and I walk away smiling, realizing I have so many more blessings than problems.

This is something I haven’t been able to see for a long time (thanks to a deep depression). so I add two more blessings.

  • Three Sertraline a day.
  • An amazing counselor at Family Service Rochester.
  • Family, friends, co-workers that see me. Hear me.

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