I wanted to start today's post off by saying thanks to your support, The Grateful Life Blog had 207 unique visitors yesterday! Holy crap, right?! I am beyond humbled and (no surprise here) grateful. I've been having so much fun writing for you and look forward to this part of my day, everyday. It has helped me strive to be more involved, more present, more appreciative and you are a huge part of that motivation. So, thank you thank you thank you for your readership and for being a part of my life and my story--you are truly a light and your support means so much to me. Sending you all one billion good thoughts in gratitude :)
This morning I got an email from my cousin Courtney (technically she's a second cousin, but I've always considered her much closer...I love her, so the rest is just details) regarding a charity event she is participating in as well as the topic of organ donation. Our 26 year old cousin, who is a best friend of Courtney's, was diagnosed with cancer less than a year ago. He was also diagnosed with Crohn's Disease (an inflammatory disease of the intestines that may affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract) and Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis (PSC, a chronic liver disease caused by progressive inflammation and scarring of the bile ducts of the liver) at the age of 12. She will be participating in a 200 mile relay race in California next month in honor of him and is striving to raise both money for her event as well as awareness on the subject of organ donation.
I considered summarizing her story, but I feel that she did such a beautiful job writing it that it would be a disservice not to encourage you to take a moment to read it for yourselves on her blog; http://www.unwoven.blogspot.com/
I'm 100% on board with her thoughts on organ donation. My family has always been very pro-donation to the point of having bumpers stickers (and we are NOT a bumper sticker kind of group) that say "Don't take your organs to heaven, heaven knows we need them here". We've had friends and family members whose untimely passing but generous subsequent donation of organs saved a number of lives. To me, this is an incredibly brave and honorable thing for a person and their family to do. If it is possible to see a silver lining in a tragic situation, this would be it. I really admire any organ donating family for this amazing act of kindness during a time of great pain. I'm in awe of them, actually.
I think what strikes me the hardest in the story Courtney details is the fact that, despite getting dealt a fairly shitty health card, our darling cousin remains so positive and present. As Court says, he moves forward. As much as I would like to believe I would have the same strength...I don't know that I would. I am humbled to know him.
Be thankful for the health of those you love today. Be thankful for your own health. Be thankful we live in a world where the miracle of science has discovered a way we can share our hearts...and livers, and kidneys and lungs...with each other during dark days. And consider joining the movement to promote organ donation. If you or someone you loved needed an organ upgrade, I bet you'd be pretty thankful for a match...
And for no other reason than it's my favorite photo of us, here's a pic of me and my little unwoven author in SF....