National Organ Donation Awareness Month April 2020

April is Organ Donation Awareness Month. This month-long celebration honors the generosity of organ, eye and tissue donors and their families as well as commemorating all transplant recipients in the United States.

I am here today to begin a new journey of advocating for organ donation; including finding ways that I can volunteer within the community for organ donation awareness. I believe that this is a great cause, and a life saving cause.

My dad was a recipient of a double lungs in September of 2019 by the gracious and brave gift of a donor. My dad was put on the list and the waiting process began. Day after day I would call and ask if he had been called; and miraculously, less than a few months of being put on the list, my dad learned that a matching set of lungs had become available—he had worked around chemicals in his Air Force life, causing COPD—and was on oxygen and he was easily fatigued with things simple such as walking. 

The surgery went well, and he better than what was expected of most recipients. I am so proud of my dad; and just want to say to my dad that you are my inspiration because you were resilient, and fought a terrible disease, and even on the days you wanted to give up… didn’t…you kept pushing forward.

So life is good once again. A different, much better life, filled with new appreciations and priorities and a daily opportunity to smell roses, count blessing. Truly every day, is an ice cream sundae with whipped cream and a cherry on top. 

Im a registered donor myself. “We all owe that to each other,” “Why waste such a precious gift, when someone can benefit from it? If there’s a way I can help, that’s what I’m going to do.” It only takes a second to register at ….or to check the box on your drivers liscence The vast majority of Americans support donation as an opportunity to give life and health to others. Unfortunately, many people overlook the important step of registering as a donor. Donors are often people who die suddenly and unexpectedly. Their families are then faced with making the decision at a time of shock and grief. Registering relieves your family of this burden. You can save up to 8 lives and heal the lives of more than 75 people. Your registration serves as a symbol of hope to patients waiting, and sharing it with your family lets them know your decision. The website again is …..or check the box on your drivers liscence.

I am grateful for the gift of more time, and feels a responsibility to my dads donor. “The person who gave my dad that organ gave him the ultimate gift...the gift of life. I have a responsibility to  contribute in return to my family and my community through the advocacy of organ donation.”

After the successful transplant, I found a true passion in exercise, and decided to try out for the OKC Memorial 5K Marathon. And although my health is on the decline with asthma and COPD and I may have to walk it, my goal is to make it to the finish line and not to give up; in honor of my dad….who is teaching me all the time, not to give up, but to persist. He’s still going to the gym to workout after his transplant, he’s embracing his new health like a child; and Im embracing my dads spirit of living life to its fullest with vigor. Because its with dads like him, that makes the world a truly wonderful place.

National Sexual Assault Awareness Month-April 2020

"Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."

Joshua 1:6-9

We must be strong and very courageous! (Joshua 1:1)

Courage is a choice. Courage is not an absence of fear. It is choosing to do courageous things in spite of fear. I think it is important to be strong and courageous as a Christian – because you just can not live the Christian life any other way. It takes courage to live by faith. You have to be strong to knowingly face the persecution of the Christian.

 The bible says,

“In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” 2 Timothy 3:12

It takes courage to have faith. Ask Peter if it took courage to step out of the boat and onto the water. Ask Paul if it took courage to stand before an angry mob and to be beaten and put in jail simply because He was a Christian.

If you want to be successful as a Christian – you will need to be courageous. Do you have the faith to be courageous? Do you have the courage to be faithful? Be strong and courageous.

April 2020 is National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month. No person should ever have to endure the anguish and indignity of sexual assault.  This horrific crime affects Americans of every age, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status.  This is a month for many of us to stand up and be courageous and let our voices be heard.  As survivors united, we stand with the courageous men, women, and children who have survived sexual assault and pledge to use every tool at our disposal to help prevent Americans from ever enduring the trauma of sexual assault. 

If you are the survivor of sexual assault, always remember, it is not your fault, and you did not ask for it; you ARE a survivor if you are listening to or reading these words. Be strong and courageous, and seek the help you need at the following resources because even after physical injuries of a sexual assault have healed, emotional and mental trauma can persist.  Survivors often struggle with lingering anxiety, fear, anger, shame, and depression.  The devastating aftermath of sexual assault can also harm a survivor’s relationships with their loved ones…..and you shouldn’t have to go through this at all, nevermind alone. The resources are:

1-800-656-HOPE ( 4673 )National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline

1-800-799-7233 National Domestic Abuse Hotline

1-800-273-TALK ( 8255 ) National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Remember, you’re not alone !.