Donate Life Donor Sabbath November
Mother Encourages Organ Donation
As I remember my beautiful energetic 15 year old daughter, Kelsey Mae Misialek, during “Donate Life Donor Sabbath November,” it doesn’t take long for me to have a smile on my face. Kelsey was a type of person that put others first, paid it forward and gave 110% in anything that she did. Kelsey was witty, loved country music, hunting, and her Ford truck but most importantly she had a dream of becoming an orthopedic surgeon.
It’s been almost 2 ½ years since Kelsey was taken from us. The pain of losing a child never goes away; you have waves of good days and bad. Sometimes you feel thankful, sad, happy, scared, angry and at peace all at the same time. It’s during these times when I try to remember what Kelsey was all about and how she gave the gift of life to so many people. I’m honored and very proud that Kelsey chose at the age of 14 to become an organ donor. She was well informed and wanted to help others even in her death, never thinking how quickly that day would come.
Kelsey may have died June 26, 2012 at a young age of 15 years old but on June 28, 2012 she gave the gift of life to 60-100 people, of which we have the personal stories of 4 recipients. Kelsey being a donor gives her death a purpose to her short life. She has shown me and thousands of others how precious life is and when one door closes an entire new world opens up. For this I am blessed. Our family has grown in leaps and bounds because of the sacrifice Kelsey gave. I won’t deny, the pain can be overwhelming and can turn our world upside down as this is our new life as grieving parents. We are still learning our “new normal” and we trust in God to find our way in the trenches of grief. Our family cherishes the past, lives for today and finds courage for tomorrow as many of the donor recipients do on a daily basis. We are honored to know that Kelsey lives on in others through her organ, eye and tissue donations. Kelsey has saved a 49 yr. old man that is married and has 4 children; he was on the waiting list for a year and half. As well as a 62 yr. old woman that is married and has retired, she was on the waiting list for over 2 years. Kelsey has also saved a 3 yr. old little boy that is now 5 years old; he has a twin brother that also received a transplant from another donor. His family reports they are both doing very well. Kelsey gave the gift of life to a 50 yr. old single mom of 3. She was on the waiting list for over 3 years and very ill. She states her goals are to get well, to finish college and to enjoy watching her children grow up. These are true miracles and I know Kelsey is very proud of her legacy.
As November is known for “thanksgiving” and reflecting on giving to others, I hope that you will pray about becoming a donor or at least have the conversation with your family members about your decision to be or not to be a donor. It’s the unknown that leaves family members in turmoil of what their loved one would want. I want to share with you just a few important reasons to become a designated donor.
1.) Over 110,000 people are waiting across the US for an organ transplant
2.) 18 people die each day waiting for a transplant
3.) Every 12 minutes a new name is added to the waiting list
4.) There is no age limit and no cost to the donor families
5.) You can still become a donor if you have had cancer or another serious illness
6.) You can still have a traditional funeral
7.) It is possible for one person to save over 60 people
Many families haven’t discussed whether to be a donor or not and many families are left with a difficult decision.
If you choose to become an organ, eye and tissue donor you can simply check the donor box when you renew your ND driver’s license or log onto www.donatelifend.org to become a designated donor. It’s that simple. As Kelsey would say “life is short, live it, don’t waste it!”
Article written by Michaela Misialek
Article printed in “The Walsh County Record”
Wednesday, November 12th, 2014 Issue