Yeah, I know, it’s corny. But once you’ve had two open heart surgeries and one of them included a new heart, you kinda have a right to make all the corny jokes you want.
That’s right, on May 15, 2015 I received a heart from an organ donor. I don’t know who she is, but I know she was in her thirties, and pretty sure she was from Georgia. Point is, she gave me her heart. She may not have known it would be me who got it, but she made it available. My heart breaks (no pun intended there) when I think about what her friends and family have gone, and are going through, with her loss. At the same time, I am so glad I’m alive to spend time with my friends and family. While I lay in the hospital bed, I kept thinking about how I would ever repay that kindness.
Then the transplant meds made the decision for me. I had, and sometimes still have, the most horrible tremors. I knew I would have to do something to help me regain some of my steadiness, so I started beading. At first it was just Angels, then people asked if I made jewelry, so I tried it and discovered I could. I was a bitch, but I did it. In August 2015 I opened my Etsy store, Heart of a Hero. I did so in honor of my heart donor. Without knowing her name, there was little else I could do. So, as I sell my pieces, I donate a portion of the proceeds to Donate Life.* (They do not endorse me in any way, probably don’t even know who I am, but given the situation, I knew exactly where I wanted to donations to go.)
Having said all that, I will remind each of you reading this, that you can be a hero. Be an organ donor. Some people say they don’t have any good organs, but there are so many others ways to be an organ donor, eyes, skin, etc. To read a really good story about how many people can be helped by one person, visit Joey Gase, NASCAR Xfinity driver. It is a heart warming story.
Anywho…forgive the upcoming corny remarks, but when I make a necklace, a bracelet, a wire sculpture, or anything, I put my whole heart into it. I am the first to admit that my work is not perfect, but the effort and the reason are the most important parts to me. I’m alive because I was given a gift, a precious gift. I hope you’ll consider hanging out and watching my skills improve and even purchase some items to help spread the word about the need for organ donors. It truly is a matter of life and death.