My name is Haleigh Mann. I am a senior, studying music education at Indiana University – Purdue University Fort Wayne. It is my hope to be a middle/high school band director after graduating in the spring. Organ donation is very near and dear to my heart and it is my hope that my story influences others to check the box and become an organ donor.
On Jan. 7, 2013, my life changed forever. My mother unexpectedly passed away from a brain aneurysm and a heart attack. In the midst of the rollercoaster of emotions I was experiencing, I gained some peace thanks to people who helped my brother and I make the decision to donate our mother’s organs. Some of our family members were hesitant about it, but my mom always wanted to help people while she was on Earth. I thought it would be the perfect way for us to honor her. My mother ended up saving three lives by donating her liver and both of her kidneys.
The scholarship I received from the Indiana Donor Network Foundation is more to me than just money for school; it is a reminder that my mother still lives on and that I’m honoring her by sharing our story. On the most difficult days, I cling to the fact that she lives on and continues to impact peoples’ lives every day. I wouldn’t be able to say this without Indiana Donor Network.
If I learned anything from this experience, it is to live each day to the fullest, to cherish those around you, and to be selfless and kind. Life is short and sometimes it is a lot shorter than expected. Organ donation turned my tragedy into something beautiful and if you and your loved ones check the box, it can do the same for you.
- Coping with Milestone Grief
- National DMV Appreciation Week