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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)

July 10, 2010

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.

June 27, 2010

George - my new best friend

Sunday, June 27, 2010

On June 14th, I received the most incredible gift; a new liver.  I'm moved to tears each time I think of the strength and compassion of the donor and his/her family for being willing to place something so precious in my care.  It's hard to express how touching it is to know a part of someone who was loved by a unknown circle of friends and family lives on in me.   I am truly blessed and thank God daily (sometimes hourly) for the gift I've been given.

Soon after waking in ICU, I decided I would call my new liver 'George' because he was my buddy now so he needed a name!  Everytime I hear the name, I smile because it's from the big red fuzzy heart shaped monster in Looney Toons who had Bugs and said "I will love him and squeeze him and pet him and I will name him George."   

George is working wonderfully and, according to Dr. Hayes, he was 'pristine' and one of the medical interns who observed my transplant said the organ was perfectly pink and text book in appearance - that it was 'a pretty liver'!  So not only is he a hard worker but he looks good doing it!   :)

Just wanted to keep you posted.  George and I will go for our first post-op appointment tomorrow - the first of MANY! 

Thanks for your continued prayers and encouragement!


July 10, 2010

I love you


June 21, 2010

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