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Words cannot adequately express the profound gratitude I feel for the beautiful gift of life. Had it not been for the selfless generosity of my donor and donor family, I would not be here today. Each and every day, I give thanks to God for my renewed life and offer prayers of thanksgiving for my donor whose life is miraculously intertwined with mine.
Since receiving my transplant, my health and zest for life have grown stronger with each passing day. I was not only able to rebuild my strength and to return to work full time, but also to undergo and successfully recover from another operation. I firmly believe that being a transplant recipient has had a direct impact on my attitude toward life. Each moment of life is a gift and cannot be taken for granted.
As an elementary school teacher and counsellor, I work closely with children from all walks of life. I am completely dedicated to making a difference in their lives not only by helping them to learn to read and write, but also helping them to develop a healthy respect and appreciation for their own lives and the lives of others. In some of the small groups of children with whom I work, we talk about making good choices each day and always taking the time to think of others. These children are too young to understand or grasp fully the concept of organ donation, but they are not too young to develop concern and respect for others. I believe that the seeds of love and hope I plant in these children each day will help them to become caring and generous adults of tomorrow.
I invited a family member to make my quilt patch for me because my receiving a transplant touched not only my life but also the lives of everyone around me. The symbol of the large colourful heart speaks to me of the generosity of my donor and the heartfelt thanks that is mine. I received a liver transplant but, strangely enough, it is my heart that has been the most affected and changed. With each beat of my heart, I remember, I give thanks, and I continue to embrace life.