“To be an organ donor means to carry out an act of love toward someone in need, toward a brother in difficulty. It is a free act of love, of availability, that every person of good will can do at any time and for any brother.” – Pope Benedict XVI
Today, I attended a ceremony held at AdventHealth Hospital in Orlando, Florida. It was a celebration of 50 years of performing kidney transplants. The reason I was asked to attend was to celebrate my milestone of being 48 years post-transplant at this very hospital. In 1974 my kidneys failed. Totally, completely and without any warning. I was six months pregnant and thought my not feeling well was attributed to that. Thankfully, my ob-gyn doctor sent me for tests – perhaps a gut intuition on his part. I like to think of it as Divine intervention. The outcome of those tests showed that I had no kidney function and without immediate treatment, neither my baby nor I would survive. We both did. I also survived 8 months of dialysis in this hospital’s dialysis unit with caring and compassionate staff who loved the fact that I brought my daughter with me at times. The very special doctor who treated me at that time is Dr. Robert Metzger, who was honored at today’s ceremony for his five decades of service at the hospital, having arranged the first kidney transplant in Central Florida in 1973. It is my belief that the angels placed him there in Divine timing so that this dedicated and amazing man could treat me with the best care possible at the time that I needed it.
The biggest miracle happened the following year, on July 7, 1975, when I received the gift of a second chance at life, a donated kidney from my brother, Ken, who is 2 years older than me. I was too sedated to remember the journey to the operating room but have heard from those who were present that we were wheeled side by side down the hallway where medical staff cheered us on with tears as they watched me and my brother holding hands, supporting each other.
Life is a precious gift that we have been blessed with, some of us more than once in a lifetime, and it is up to us how we choose to live it. Some may argue that life is full of challenges and hardships, but I firmly believe that every moment in life is a miracle, and we are blessed to experience it. I live mine with an attitude of gratitude, appreciating every subsequent moment that I have had since that time when it could have ended so tragically. I encourage everyone to live with that same attitude of gratitude, learning to appreciate the small things in life, the things that often go unnoticed. Take the time to appreciate the people in your lives, the opportunities that come your way, and the beauty that surrounds us.
I have defied the odds of living with a transplanted kidney. Statistics say that on average, I could expect to live up to 15-20, perhaps 30 years post-transplant. So, you can see why I consider it a miracle that 48 years later I am sharing my story with you. I truly live a miraculous and blessed life. I live it in faith. Faith in myself, in others, and in a higher power. It is about believing that everything happens for a reason, and that even in the most challenging of times, there is a lesson to be learned. I find joy in the present moment and live with a sense of purpose, using the testimony of my life to make a positive impact on the world and to help others.
I urge each of you to live your miraculous and blessed life. No matter what challenges come your way, appreciate every moment, find the blessings in every experience, and live with a sense of purpose.
Dear Angels, the acts of kindness performed in our lives bring such reward for ourselves and for the recipient. I am fortunate to be on the receiving end of one of the greatest acts of kindness a person can do for another. There has to be a special blessing for those who make such sacrifices.
Dear Ones, a selfless act of love and compassion that can help save lives and alleviate suffering is counted among the greatest sacrifices a human can make. It is what Jesus, Buddha and all the great masters have shared – love for your fellow humans. It is the most priceless gift that one can give to another. When you show compassion, you create a positive ripple effect that can uplift not only the person you are helping but also those around you. Compassion is an expression of Divine love that flows through all beings, connecting one another. Compassion is not just a feeling but also an action. Compassionate acts, no matter how small, can have a profound impact on others and on the world as a whole, creating a more harmonious society. We encourage you to do a compassion checkup every day. Are you stepping up to make the world a better place, a world that works for all?
Dear Angels, thank you. I love you. Namaste y’all.
Today, I promise to live my life full of compassion and love for my fellow beings.
Teri Angel is a Happiness Coach, energy healer, best-selling author, spiritual teacher and mentor, and a motivational speaker. Teri is the Peace Campaign Coordinator for We, The World and the founder of a nonprofit organization, Angelspeakers Inc., which offers educational workshops and events centered around environmental awareness to include animals and nature, peace advocacy opportunities and ancient wisdom teachings. Teri’s movement “Peas For Peace” involves strengthening our awareness of the oneness of all, unifying mankind through compassion, peace, love and joy. She was named "She Who Blesses the Sacred Land" during the Peace On Earth Tour and embraces that title with loving grace. www.angelspeakers.com
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Organ transplantation is one of the marvels of modern medicine. The need for organ donors is much greater than the number of people who actually donate. More than 28,000 lives are saved every year by organ donors. However, more than 123,000 people in the United States are on the organ transplant waiting list. On average, 21 people die each day while waiting for a match.
People of all ages, races and ethnicities, and even those with pre-existing health conditions can be potential donors. When a person dies, they are evaluated for donor suitability based on their medical history. The most important factor for a successful transplant is a compatible blood type between donor and recipient.
Surveys show that 95 percent of adults in the United States support organ donation. Although most people support donation, one of the biggest obstacles to organ donation is simply getting people to register to become a donor. Start by doing your own research, talk to your family and friends to make your wishes known and register as a donor. It’s easy and can be done online. For more information visit organdonor.gov.