Donor Alliance volunteers and advocates are the heart and soul of our efforts to inspire and inform our community about the importance of signing up to be an organ, eye and tissue donor in Colorado and Wyoming. Each of our volunteers and advocates has their own unique and inspiring story to tell. This month, we’re featuring Anne Bina, a kidney recipient from Casper, WY.
What is your favorite thing about volunteering for Donor Alliance? I volunteer because I want to “give back.” I received the most fantastic gift of life 20 years ago, and I want to help others to be as fortunate as me. I want others to know the difference they can make in someone’s life by being an organ donor. I also enjoy meeting and talking with people and sharing my transplant story! One of my favorite memories is when I marched in downtown Casper for the Central Wyoming Rodeo Parade this last July. Afterwards, when I went to meet up with my husband, a man stopped me to ask questions about Donor Alliance and my transplant story. At the end of our conversation, he gave me a hug – that conversation and the hug meant a lot!
If you could have any superpower for 24 hours, what would you do? I guess I would want the magic touch, meaning that everyone I touched would be healed no matter what their problem!
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? Back when I was first diagnosed with kidney disease in 1992, a friend gave me a poem that was written by pastor, Charles Swindoll, “Attitude.” The poem is something I try to live by, it speaks of the impact attitude has on life. It says that life is “10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.”
What is your favorite holiday and why? Christmas of course. I am a bona fide Christmas-aholic! I have always loved Christmas! It is the time of year that people are willing to help others, whether it’s with gifts and food or with money to your favorite charity.
What is your favorite season and why? I love Spring! It is the start of new growth, flowers, trees and here in Wyoming, baby animals like deer, antelope, bison, elk and bears. It is the time for me to think of what flowers to plant and what vegetables I will grow in my garden. For me, it is really the start of the year!
What is your proudest accomplishment? When I was working in Social Services in a Nursing Home in Missouri, I had a resident in the final stages of ALS. She could not move a muscle but she could blink her eyes, so I was able to help her communicate that way. The day she passed, I was able to communicate enough with her to get her family and her pastor by her bedside before she passed. I held her hand and tried to comfort her the best I could. I really feel that I helped her & was able to communicate with her. I was able to make a difference!
What is the last book you read or movie you saw? Would you recommend it? I’ve been reading books that are part of Reese Witherspoon’s book club and the latest one is, “Whisper Network” by Chandler Baker. I always love Danielle Steele books too.
What are some of your favorite hobbies? I love to be outside with my flower garden and planting vegetables. Living in Wyoming, I love the mountains and like to hike every chance I get. My husband was active duty Air Force and stationed in Montana so my daughters grew up hiking in Glacier Park. The mountains got in our blood and we moved back out West when we retired in 2016. I also love to travel! Since my transplant, my husband and I have traveled all over the United States visiting Air Force friends. We’ve also visited Vancouver, Vancouver Island, Nova Scotia, Mexico, the Caribbean, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Lichtenstein. Now that we are retired, we plan to travel a lot more.
If you could take an all-expenses paid vacation, where would you go? Spend a week in Germany where my grandparents were born. My husband’s family came from Croatia, so would love to tour that country also.