I became connected with Indiana Donor Network in 2004 when my older sister, Kelsey, passed away in a car accident. After the accident, she became an organ donor, giving many individuals a second chance at life.
My parents began being advocates for Indiana Donor Network, and shortly after, I was connected with Indiana Donor Network as well. Kelsey’s donation has meant so much to my family and me. Knowing in this tragedy that someone was given another chance at life and that another family did not have to say goodbye to their loved one has brought our family comfort. Indiana Donor Network has helped tremendously with my family’s grief process by allowing us to share our story and help others in the midst of their own tragedies.
On a Friday evening in 2004, I was given the worst news of my life, my older sister had been in a life-ending car accident. When you are eight years old you don’t really understand the severity of the situation. There are a lot of words being said around you that you do not understand, organ donation being two of them. I had never heard of organ donation and did not comprehend the concept at the time, but thought it was going to be super cool that my sister’s organs would be in someone else’s body. Once I fully understood that not only were they getting these organs, but also these peoples’ lives would be saved with these organs, I thought it was even cooler. I knew that because of my sister’s donations, other kids would not have to lose their role model, their best friend, their older sibling, like I did.
As advocates, we have an opportunity to share our story, share our grief and help others going through the same or similar experiences. Getting to know other donor families and meeting people that have been given the gift of life has been a wonderful experience, allowing us to see the impact of donation. When you are younger, your older sister is your superhero, but because of organ donation, mine still is. Your siblings are supposed to be there through it all from day one, to support you, love you and help you through all your endeavors. Being a part of Indiana Donor Network still allows me, a donor sibling, to do all of that.
In the words of: McKenna Mikel