Renee Cassidy, Registered Donor
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A wonderful gift from an unknown donor gave us several more years with my mother...
For many years we watched as my mother continued to fail due to COPD complicated by an anaphylactic reaction to an IV medication given in error. She was always a very independent, self-sufficient woman, and the need to request assistance and acknowledge her illness was difficult.
One day while grocery shopping, she parked in a handicapped space, no plates, just a MVD dashboard pass (she didn’t want disabled plates). While in the store someone surrounded her car with shopping carts, apparently unhappy that she was in a handicapped spot (she didn’t look noticeably handicapped and tried for many years to not take her portable O2) but she could only walk a limited distance. She never cried easily, but that event caused tears as she had to go back in to request assistance to get to her car.
I think it also sparked her drive towards wellness, which in her case meant a lung transplant. She was considered, at 57, too old for many programs, but was finally accepted at a program in Jackson, MS.
She and Dad moved to Jackson from their 40+ year home in Arizona and waited for the call. It came to our relief and joy. She was diligent in all aspects of her recovery; exercising, dealing with the medications and side effects, and being proactive about becoming as strong as she could be.
This wonderful gift from an unknown donor gave us several more years with my mother, during which time she and my dad were able to enjoy some travel time together, share time with their four adult daughters, and continue to be active in their grandchildren’s lives. We lost her when she was still too young, but the gift of those years and the generosity of the family who made the decision to donate will never be forgotten.