Starting this month, school students in my neighborhood will be gathering at the corner, waiting for their big yellow ride to school. Many parents look forward to this day and other parents dread the first day of school.
Yesterday, I had lunch with a couple who had just picked their son up from his first day of preschool. He proudly wore a paper animal on a string around his neck. For this family, days like this are always bittersweet. While they enjoy the things their son is learning, watching him explore his world from an ever changing viewpoint, they think about their daughter Vittoria and wonder what she would be doing right now. Would she be excited for her first day of school? Would she still love to read and draw? Vittoria, who would be 12 this month, died four years ago, waiting for a heart transplant.
Currently, there are five children between the ages of 6-17 on the Utah waiting list. But what will the new school year hold for these children? Some might be able to attend school. Others may be confined to a hospital while they wait. The reality is one or more of these children may not make the wait for transplant.
While we may not want to think about our own mortality, or that of our children, the reality is that there are some things that we need to consider; like purchasing life insurance, making out a will and organ, eye and tissue donation.
One more organ donor may have saved Vittoria's life. With that thought in mind as the kids go off to school, please discuss donation with your family and then say yes to donation on your driver license or go to www.yesutah.org. You might save the life of someone like Vittoria.