A little more than two years ago, I got a text message from a friend to start praying. Her son was in Peru on a climbing expedition and they had received news that there was an accident. For hours they did not know that their son was gone...an ice field had collapsed, leaving his close friend and climbing partner standing, and their son swept away. It was devastating . They were left empty and their world was forever changed. Friends and family rallied around them doing whatever they could. There is no "cure" for losing a child.
Karen is a wife, mom and an ER nurse. She and Jim raised the kids in a great neighborhood where they made life long connections. One of those neighbors was about to suffer as well, when they found out their son had a very rare, idiopathic liver disease called Budd-Chiari Syndrome. As time has passed, his quality of life has suffered and ,since he was young , he was considered "stable". He was pushed lower on the living donor list. None of his family was a match for him, and as Karen saw him endure weekly treatments, lose energy and live with this disease, she stepped in. She spent days being tested to find she was a match! She convinced the family she was the answer to their prayers. Last week, my friend became a living donor for a young man with a debilitating disease. She is very diplomatic, "A young boy is dying, and I can save his life. It's as simple as that".
Every year about 5000 living donations occur and only one in four come from relatives of the patient. 6000 precious lives are lost each year from organ shortage in America. 1400 are currently on the waiting list. Have you become an organ donor on your Colorado Driver's license? It's easy, and if something were to happen to you, you could save a life...MANY lives. When I had my neck surgery I was informed that they would be using donor bone and tissue. Following my surgery, I was given the chance to reach out to the family of the person who had passed away and donated their organs. It was amazing to write a card thanking them. It humbled me.
Karen is back home and will take weeks to rebound. Her attitude is amazing and her heart is full, having felt that she could step in to someone's life who she truly cared about and do something that mattered. It's amazing how life works. You can never replace a lost child, but I believe God gave her an opportunity to save someone else's precious boy.
For more information on living donations, please visit
What have you done for your neighbor today?
In the spirit of Thanksgiving,