Karen Matulis, Donor Family
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I made a choice to get better, not bitter...
I became involved with Donate Life 13 years ago when my son, Christopher, died. I had no idea that Christopher’s death would bring me to a family of other donor families. This is a family no one wants to be a member of, but I, for one, don’t want to live without.
Christopher’s death could have made me bitter for the rest of my life. However, I made a choice to get better, not bitter. I soon saw volunteers where there was evident joy, love and contentment. I wanted the contentment and joy they had. Now I knew I could achieve it!
When I became a volunteer I knew immediately that I had found a “family” where we all had something in common. I volunteered, spoke to groups about my own story and helped the staff at the office. I’ve never seen an organization that loved us as much as we loved them. Through working with Donate Life Arizona, help with my grief came quickly. Fast forward, I am a grateful volunteer when I can with Donate Life Arizona. When I am not being a “snowbird” I serve on the Advisory Board for BCW/WDN/WTB and am active in the Board’s Volunteer Committee and Aftercare Committee in Wisconsin.
The beauty of organ donation is that it isn’t just local; this family spreads worldwide. For the past five years, I’ve helped decorate the Donate Life Float in Pasadena, California, for the Rose Bowl Parade. This allowed me to make friends and meet more “family” from all over the world. There, donor families can adopt organ recipients into their families and have a lifetime relationship as well.
I don’t think much about what our life would be like if Christopher were alive today. He was taken from us on earth, and we were placed right where we are supposed to be until we see him again. Until that time, I continue to volunteer for my son, my hero, and to stay connected to some of the best people on earth.