I had the honor and the privilege of speaking at the Transplant Games of America – at LifeBanc Gift of Life Walk and Run - in the world of public speaking they say there are three types of talks – the one you plan to give, the one you give and the one you wish you have given. I was so excited to share our experience with Cleveland Clinic Children's and address the most inspirational audience you could ever imagine.
Well this talk started in the worst way ever – they called my name and I wasn’t by the stage!
AHHH! I was all the way in the back – the four of us should have been standing next to the stage ready to go – so as they are saying welcome Traci Tigue – Russ and I look at each other and AHHHHHH – weIl we start running, Russ has the double stroller with Harper and Brodie and they are running behind me, booking across the lawn – I get to the stage and run up and they literally hand me the microphone – I am out of breath, panting, literally gasping somehow in between huffs and puffs – and this is what ends up coming out!
Here is the talk that I planned to give:
On May 14th we had one of the happiest days of our lives! My husband Russ and I made our daughter Harper a big sister and welcomed a little baby boy Brodie into the world.
We had no idea that at 4 months Brodie would be diagnosed with Biliary Atresia leaving our only option for cure to be a Liver Transplant.
As Brodie’s mother I was thrilled to be a match and when Brodie was five months and five days we went through living donor donation and I was able to save my son with a sliver of my liver and the amazing hands of the Cleveland Clinic, our Transplant Team, our Liver Team and all of the rest of the army of staff it took to get our little guy well. We did it!
We just celebrated Brodie’s 1st birthday and in a week we will be celebrating 8 months post transplant. He is our little warrior.
You can imagine how excited we were when we heard the Transplant Games were coming to Cleveland Ohio. Our backyard, our city! Our city is so special - filled with spirit, enthusiasm, fight and pride – so similar to the community we have been introduced and welcomed into – the Transplant and Organ Donation world.
Being thrown into this amazing community of transplant has opened my eyes to so many things. The more people I talk to in this world the more remarkable it becomes. The stories that everyone has, the journeys people have taken I find myself wanting to know more, more about all of you and your incredible path here.
When we celebrated Brodie’s 1st birthday – the celebration was focused on LIVING and being ALIVE and not necessarily on tacking another year on or being “older” as we tend to do when we get older.
It made me reflect on how special this life is and how special it would be if we all set out on a mission : increase organ donors, decrease those listed. I think we can – I think we can help the over 121,000 people in the US who are waiting simply – by sharing and celebrating our story.
We have shared our story on Facebook “Brodie’s Good Vibe Tribe” –with thousands – let them in to our ups the downs the ins and outs our tribe rallies with us – we are so proud, so very proud to be here because we LOVE our life story and our strong little warrior.
My hope and our hope is love your life story. Share and celebrate your life story. Inspire other to take action. What an amazing gift we all have - the ability to share our stories to motivate others to Donate and save a Life.