Three Magnificent Examples of Love
Six months after my 1992 kidney/pancreas transplant, I began writing to the family of my donor through our Delaware Valley Transplant Program office. They forwarded them on to the family of my donor, Doug, the Shriver family of Adams County, PA. Eventually I got to correspond directly with Doug's sister, Cheryl.
Cheryl and I are the same age, have many things in common and have spent long hours talking about Doug and how his decision as a teenager to donate his organs has changed my life. My mother and I had recently met Cheryl, her husband, Mike, and their two daughters, Heather and Ashton.
While visiting Cheryl, she shared two articles by Joe Martin, a columnist for The Evening Sun, from the Hanover, PA area. With Cheryl's approval, I contacted Joe and let him know how this one recipient of Doug's gift of love was doing.
Joe's original articles and my letter are offered here as our (Joe's, Doug's family's and mine...) Christmas gift to the donors and recipients who visit the TransWeb site for inspiration and support. The Transplant Games medal I mentioned in my letter has been given to the Shriver family as a token of my thanks for their gift of life to me those four years ago. They have also been recognized by DVTP with the Gift of Life Donor medal.
It is only now, during this Christmas season, after Joe showed his upcoming Christmas article (appearing in the Dec 21 issue and containing my letter) to Doug's parents, Paul and Dorothy Shriver, I learned of their interest in meeting me.
I plan to call them this Christmas Day.
Merry Christmas to all, and, to all those awaiting their own transplants, have "faith."
Three Magnificient Examples of Love, by Joe Martin