When I woke up today I blindly reached for my phone as always, opened one eye and clicked on the Facebook app. One post got me up out of bed so fast it was like my kid was screaming in the next room.  You know those wake ups!

Yesterday I spent a good chunk of time writing a long post for you about my two favorite causes and freebies I’m giving away this month.  This morning, because of that Facebook post, I scrapped it.  There was a much better story to tell.

This one little Facebook post brought me to tears.  Tears of joy, pride, and love. I’m still getting choked up a bit as I write this. You see, my friend Shannon is in the hospital.  Right now, as I type this, and probably while you are reading this, she is in surgery.

 

Shannon & her fabulous kids.

 

This isn’t just any old surgery.  This is one of the most amazing surgeries that anyone can undergo.  It automatically puts you into a special group of people like no other.  Not everyone will want to join this group, and that’s ok. This group is very hard to join, and Kim Kardashian can’t even buy a membership.  Trust me; I’m a member. You literally have to give your left kidney to become a member.

Yes. A kidney. Or a piece of your liver. Or another organ.

That’s right. Shannon is donating her kidney this morning.

She is donating her kidney to a little girl named Mai who has been waiting for a match for two and a half years.  Today, thanks to Shannon, she will get one.

How amazing is that?? Shannon is choosing to lay down her own life for a little girl, so that she may live.

I donated my kidney to my cousin Melissa in 2012.   When my aunt sent the email letting us know she was going back on the transplant list, I had just left work.   I pulled into a parking lot, read the email, and immediately contacted the donor coordinator listed in the email.  It was one of those moments in life where you don’t think, you just do.  The loss of my cousin’s life greatly outweighed the risk. With modern medicine, the risks are minimal. I also had a good example in my life that showed me it would all be ok.

 

alex-shelley-cheer-bow-box_0059
Melissa & I a few weeks before surgery. Photo Cred: Melissa’s 8-year-old step daughter.

My donation was Melissa’s second transplanted kidney.  The first one had been from her mother, my aunt Linda.  It lasted over years which is a great life span for a kidney transplant.  Now, Melissa and Linda regularly travel to Washington, D.C. to speak on the benefits of organ donation.

 

Shannon had called me a few months ago to ask about how everything went and whether I had any regrets.  I have none.  I’m so happy she was able to have that example as well.

Thus, I celebrate April, National Donate Life Month. Every single year.

What does this mean for you? (Hello!! Freebies!!)

If you book a session with me during the month of April, you will receive a free 8×10 print and all profits from your purchase will be donated to Donate Life America!

AND…

If you are a living donor or an organ recipient, your session is FREE!!!

Let’s celebrate and support life together all while having fabulous photos of your loved ones!

Meanwhile, say a prayer for Shannon and Mia today.  Let’s pray that their surgery goes smoothly, that the kidney takes to its new home with speed and ease, and that both Mai and Shannon quickly recover. And many more prayers for Mia and her family, that this new kidney has a long and healthy life.

If you are interested in learning more about organ donation or wish to give directly to the organization, please visit Donate Life America.
Don’t forget to register to be a donor!

So contact me today to book a session, and give a little life for another at the same time!  Know someone who would love this or is a donor? Share it!

 

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