Thirteen years ago someone gave me the gift of life again.

I was born with a genetic disease – cystic fibrosis. Having CF caused my lungs to deteriorate from an early age and my life consisted of regular hospital visits, which became longer and longer and more regular as I grew older.

In 2005, when I was twenty-three years old, my health had deteriorated considerably and my doctor told me I had less than two years to live and that I would require a double lung transplant to survive. A year later I was placed on the organ donor waiting list. Not knowing whether I would survive long enough for the generosity of an organ donor to help me was frightening and as I became hospital-bound my future looked grim.

After nine months of waiting, I received a call that I dreaded, but also desperately hoped for. I was told there was a set of lungs that were a perfect match for me…

In a moment of tragedy, a generous soul gave me the gift of life. Though a family lost someone they held very dear, my family gained something, I gained something – another chance at life. The decision by this person and their family changed my life forever.

I will forever be thankful to my donor and their family for giving myself and my family a second chance.

After the transplant in 2006 and my recovery I was given the opportunity to pursue my passion and gain my degree. I got married and even considered the delightful prospect of having a child myself. I gained my degree, have a wonderful husband and a gorgeous three year old daughter, who is the light of my life.

The message I hope to pass on this week is the message of considering organ and tissue donation. Please consider this important gift and speak to your loved ones – share your decision with them. The importance of knowing your wishes, should your family ever be faced with THAT DECISION is vital. So please, in the next week, do some research, have that discussion. You may choose to give the greatest gift of all… another chance for someone who thought they didn’t have one.

I’m so happy you’re here!

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