Teachers. Nurses. Mothers. Transplant and Donor Caregivers. We are celebrating these amazing caregivers and transplant and donor caregiver support over the next week and wanted to take a moment to honor them. So…what words come to mind when you think of these people in your life? If you do a quick search on the internet for words that describe these caregivers, it’s no coincidence that many of them overlap: generous, patient, compassionate, caring, dedicated, listening, security, presence, intuitive. The lists go on and on.
These caregivers help care for life every day and often go unappreciated. Every single one of us have been connected to a mother, a step-mother or a mother figure, a teacher, or a nurse throughout our lives. Many of our organ transplant recipients, living donors and donor families say they would not have made it through the struggles they faced without transplant and donor caregiver support. All of these caregivers need our support too. Who will you honor this May?
Teacher Appreciation Week – May 2-8
We all have something in common when it comes to teachers. There is not a single person out there whose life hasn’t been impacted by a teacher. Formal or informal, parent, grandparent, sibling or mentor, teachers guide us throughout our lives.
At Donor Alliance, we work with hundreds of teachers in middle schools, high schools and post-secondary institutions every year through our Transplantation Science and Collegiate Curriculum programs. These teachers have a passion for teaching and understand the importance of educating their students about organ, eye and tissue donation. They look for ways to bring new experiences into their classrooms and worked harder than ever this past school year to educate about the gift of life. They created hybrid, virtual and in-person opportunities for their students and we want to say thank you for the thousands of hours they dedicated to their students this year!
Nurses’ Appreciation Week – May 6-12
Communities the world over looked for new and unique ways to thank nurses throughout the last year. These individuals are often the only compassionate faces we see in the hospitals when we are in the most need. Many work 12-hour shifts and take on tasks that seem insurmountable to the rest of us. Others keep us healthy by assisting in preventive care in doctors’ offices.
It’s also these local nurses and those who serve on Donor Resource teams that receive training from our Hospital Development staff on how to best support families throughout the donation process. The organ and tissue donation processes would not happen if it weren’t for the hundreds of nurses we work with in 117 hospitals throughout Colorado and Wyoming. The collaboration between our staff and the hospital nursing staff is essential in our common mission to save lives. Thank you to all nurses and to the many nurses on our own Donor Alliance clinical staff who work to honor the gift of life every day!
Mother’s Day – May 9
Mother’s Day was originally created as a way to honor the many sacrifices mothers make for their children. However, when we think about what our mothers or caregivers do for us, it really comes down to making multiple decisions on a daily basis…all for us. Saying a simple ‘thank-you’ never seems adequate, and yet how many of us remember to do that?
This year, as we celebrate Mother’s Day, we want to take a moment to honor organ and tissue donors’ mothers who either supported a decision or made a decision on behalf of their child to give another family the precious gift of life during their darkest day. The courage and resilience of our donor families, and especially donors’ mothers, is nothing short of heroic. Often transplant and donor caregiver support comes from a mother figure. Thank you for your courage and compassion during the most difficult moment of your life!
Celebrating Transplant and Donor Caregiver Support
We would also like to honor and support the caregivers of those who received a lifesaving and healing transplant or those who cared for living donors who gave the gift of life. Caregivers are unsung heroes who give selflessly of their time, energy and love. Many times, they are the ones who are caring for those who are sick, undergoing treatment and through the long and stressful process of transplantation. Thank you for being strong in times of uncertainty and for advocating and caring for the gift of life during these most uncertain of times!
We have all been cared for by someone else throughout our lives and in many forms – from teachers sharing knowledge, to a nurse’s soft, yet strong hands, to a mother’s unbridled love or a caregiver’s supportive embrace. We encourage you to take a moment this month to share your appreciation for one of these caregivers in your life.
How You Can Care for Others through the Gift of Life
You can care for others too, in a unique and special way. Whether in Colorado or in Wyoming, by saying Yes to organ, eye and tissue donation, you are in fact caring for another. Making the decision to selflessly give the gift of life and possibly save and heal someone unknown to you, is considered by some to be the greatest gift of all – the gift of life. And after all, that is what caregivers do every day. They care for life.