As my readers know well by now, I am a recipient of a cornea. And I have been an organ donor since the age of 18. And I am a strong supporter and activist for organ, eye and tissue donation.
And I am about to put myself through something I have not done in over two decades. A run/walk course. A three mile one at that. And this course is all-cement terrain, with two decently steep hills to climb.
Back in the day, I used to run/walk the Examiner Bay To Breaker race. Each year, my time got less and less. But also did my knee’s ability to hit the ground… running. And over the years, the one lung that I have had lifelong problems with, as well as scar tissue under the scar where my trache once used to be, has slowly gotten a bit more medically worse.
Add in the eye, and it’s been one hell of a ride on this thing called “Life”. But you know what? I have loved (mostly) every freaking minute of it! And I have thus far beaten every conceivable odd that was thrust at me. I have done EVERYTHING that doctors have said I’d never do. Even with adding in the fact that I (am at last checkup) at a range of 20/20 vision in an eye that’s been through infection, puncturing, loss of fluid, and now a cataract under my transplant. Miraculous, to say the least. Then again, I’m guessing that I have a right to be a bit biased.
Now, I am going to TRY and defy my own personal limitation. I am taking back to the race course. And for a good cause. And I plan on walking as well as TRY and run (portions of) the course set before us.
On Saturday, April 7th, 2012, my oldest daughter and I are participating in the Point of Honor 5K in Lynchburg, Virginia. The proceeds generated (via registration fees and donations) will go to the Virginia chapter of Donate Life America and to the Virginia chapter of LifeNet. And also other organizations throughout my state to help educate, sign up and bring awareness to organ, eye and tissue donation.
My parents, especially my mom, did everything they could to ensure I lived through what was at the time in 1976, the unsurvivable. No matter what it took. And that carried on after her death.
Now, I am doing everything I can to get my special needs son what he needs, no matter what it takes.
And I am fighting for THOUSANDS of strangers on waiting lists, knowing that MILLIONS more will be on those lists in my lifetime.
I’m fighting to bring awareness to Organ Donation, the need for Heroes to give Hope to people that are in need of the Gift of Life/Sight.
For that, I am willing to put my body through two steep hill climbs and another two and a half miles of walking/running.
If it makes even just ONE person observing the race who has yet to do so, sign up to be a Donor, then it was worth ever sore muscle, achy feet and being out of breath and all the sweat that will be pouring down my face on Saturday morning.
But I must make a confession. It’s hard doing this again. But not physically. Emotionally.
I lost my mom on October 29th, 1989. Exactly twenty years later on October 29th, 2009, I received the Gift of Sight from my beautiful Donor. And to me, it was no coincidence of that happening in the way that it had. I believe my Mom was with me through all of it. Heck, maybe they both watched over me that day as the damaged eye was being repaired. Because they (as was I) were almost 100% certain that the tissue wasn’t going to take, and that when I was wheeled out of surgery, it was without one of my eyes.
So, Saturday, I’m going to walk (and run) for my Donor. I’ll walk for my precious Donor Family. I’ll be walking for Mom. And I’m walking for those waiting patiently for their second chance to see, walk and live.
Wish me luck. Crazy, stupid, or even both, I’m so very glad to be participating in such a wonderful cause, and having fun as I help bring Hope and awareness.