But every month on the anniversary of my transplant I silently thank the generosity of my Organ Donor who believed in organ donation at a young age and signed up when he got his driver's license at just 16, sure that he would want to be a donor should something ever happen. Sadly, for his family, he passed away at only 22 years old. But the gift he gave and lives he saved - not just mine - is something for which I am grateful every single day I wake up.
Sure, I have my challenges post transplant. Most transplant patients have some issues they must deal with. The anti-rejection medications, while saving our lives, can cause a multitude of side effects and I am dealing with those. I am lucky to have an amazing transplant team and my Coordinator is just the best. She is patient and answers all my questions, no matter how minute or silly they may be. I have such a good team helping me navigate post transplant life. I couldn't do it without them.
I am so grateful that I felt a strong need to try and give back in some way. So I Blog, Tweet and Instagram about organ donation, transplant and lung health. I have gotten involved with the Respiratory Health Association of Chicago and have been lucky to get to go with them to call on both my Illinois State Representative and my Illinois State Senator to thank them for supporting clean jobs and Tobacco21 legislation. I shared my story and why clean air is so important to me and everyone.