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Dear Friends and Family,

First, let us thank all of you for your continuing prayers and support that have been sent our way these past several months. Without this show of love and support, Roberta’s diagnosis of End Stage Liver Disease in October would have been even more devastating.

Updates (3)

October 8, 2013

What to say?
July 10, 2010
I contacted LifeShare Carolinas (the organ procurement agency locally) and asked if it was possible to send a thank you note to my donors family.  They told me yes, gave me a few stipulations and ideas while encouraging me to do so. 
Now I’m stuck.
How do you thank someone for giving you life?  If it were a pie or a nice card, I would know what to say in my note of thanks.  But life?  The opportunity to watch my boys grow into men.  The time to do the tasks my heavenly Father has given me.  The luxury of continuing to love and be loved by family and friends.  What does one say?
This years annual report by UNOS (United Network for Organ Sharing – the list I was on nationally in addition to the local list) is interwoven with a recipients story.  In her story, she talks about speaking in front of a group of donor families and asking how she should thank her donor family for their gift.  She was told ‘just say thank you’.  She went on to tell them all the things she was able to do because of their generousity.  I’m finding it hard to write that, knowing the donor was younger than me, fearing my joy in being with my family and friends might hurt them somehow since their loved one won’t get to experience that.  But, I guess they came to that realization when they agreed to donate.  Perhaps simply telling them George will be well cared for and loved by many will be enough.  That their loved one will live on in me and I will do my best to honor that gift every day.
Still, it’s hard to put on paper.  I’m torn between the fear of causing them more pain by bringing up the death and wanting to wrap my arms around them in appreciation.
I’ll be sending out my letter Monday.  It will be sent with the prayer that they feel my gratitude for their effort and my sympathy for their loss.

October 8, 2013

This much is true…
I wrote on my Facebook page a while back that I thought my wait for a liver was a lesson in patience.  Having considered that since the surgery, I believe it’s true.  But for all my frustration, I was only on the list for two months – TWO MONTHS… I can’t imagine those folks who are on it for years.  The severity of my condition pushed me ahead of others already on the list, making their wait longer, which is sobering. 
When you go in for the inital pre-list meeting with the Transplant Center folks, they warn you about these types of post-op feelings:  guilt for wanting (in a way) someone to perish so that you can live then feeling happy (in a way) when it happens, remorse for causing others who are ill to have to endure more suffering because you jumped ahead of them, the fear of the surgery itself and the real possibility of death (either from not getting the transplant soon enough or during the surgery), struggling to stay strong and postive for your kids, family and friends when you really don’t feel like doing so, the fear of rejection/infection/etc post-op, the overwhelming concern over meds, bills and healing and so many other little things you never would imagine having to entertain.
On the flip side, until you’re in this awkward position, you never realize how many people are rooting for you.  I’ve been floored at the love, concern and support recieved for both my family and myself from co-workers, my kids schools, churches and complete strangers.  I say it alot but only because I genuinely mean it, I’m so grateful for the prayers and simple words of encouragement.
I truly believe that God is in control of all things and that my transplant happened when and how it was supposed to according to His will.  That’s the only thing, other than the generous support of friends, family and strangers encouraging me, that have helped me deal with these thoughts.  I know God orchastrated the entire event, in His perfect timing, and that He has lovingly embraced my donor.
Sorry for the rambling.  I never ever ever thought I’d be told I had less than a year to live, be a transplant receipent, nor had I ever considered how blessed receipents are, the true generosity shown by the donors and their families or the extended support group that appears when you least expect it.  I’m just so grateful and humbled at God’s love for me and the love shown to me by everyone around me.
I’ll hush now.  🙂


October 8, 2013

I love you


October 8, 2013

I love you, Roberta. You are always in my prayers. But I know you will do great. I can't wait till you're back to your old self again. We will need to have a girls' night out when you're up to it. Miss you! Lauren

Lauren Bigelow, Charlotte, NC