The John Brockington Foundation held it's 9th annual Pro Athletes for Life Gala on Tuesday, October 5, 2010. It was held at the San Diego Hall of Champions in Balboa Park in San Diego, California.
Myself and Ann Lopez who donated to her husband George, were both honored with the Circle of Honor Award. This evening was beyond any of my expectations and I can not tell you how honored I was to receive this award. To stand and speak at the very event that I attended four years ago and inspired me to want to donate a kidney was extremely emotional. It was my moment to share how much I believed that Living Donors would be the answer to the never ending and growing numbers of those waiting for a kidney. It also allowed me the opportunity to speak on how important it is to share the mentoring process with others who are thinking about donating.
It has been such a joy to me to speak with others such as Angela Stimpson, Robyn Wheatley and several others who wanted the chance to communicate with somone who had been through the donor process. They are now advocates for others as well. I am totally convinced that many do not understand the living donor process. Harvey Mysel of The Living Kidney Donors Network has now started several new programs, one focusing on mentoring to those who wish to speak to others who have gone through the donation process. I am also convinced that the general public has major misconceptions of being a donor. Many people who have a loved one that needs a kidney do not realize that just because they are not a perfect match for their loved one, that they can still be involved in a pairing with others so that their loved one can receive a kidney from a living donor.
What is amazing is that those of us in good health can give the gift of life to another. I understand and respect that there are many people that don't feel the same way about being an altruistic donor. I think all of us can appreciate that when a loved one is need, it's a no brainer. So when people ask me why I decided to donate without having to....I respond...because I can...make a difference. I CAN give life. That is a decision I will never regret.
The John Brockington Foundation has been a driving force for people to sign up and beocme organ donors and now has opened the door to include living donor ship as well. At the Gala John and Diane Brockington received the Donate Life Award.
The purpose of my blog is to share the experience and spread the word. But for any of you reading this, it also will give you knowledge should your path cross with someone facing the need of a kidney to help them explore options.
Please be sure to visit the following web sites for more insight to Living Donors!
lkdn.org The Living Kidney Donors Network
oksolo.blogspot.com Angela Stimpson, Altruistic Living Donor
johnbrockingtonfoundation.org The John Brockington Foundation