Thursday, January 25, 2007

I got a call today

We were looking at a house this afternoon and an unknown number showed up on my phone. Being the really really [sic] nice guy that I am, I answered it. :)

I had a wonderful talk with a woman from CORE, the Center for Organ Recovery and Education. She has gone to the blog and wanted to give me some words of appreciation and encouragement. She also sent me an email which I will share with all of you.

Hi [ ],

It was so nice to talk with you. I’m very excited about your project and can’t help but think of the impact if more people had your level of commitment. We had a living kidney donor over the summer who was one of those people that warms your heart and leaves you reinvigorated. He doesn’t have a wife or kids, and he works as a cab driver in West Virginia. This man decided to take a one-month hiatus from work to donate a kidney to a complete stranger. With more than 69,000 people awaiting a kidney nationally (more than 2/3 of the total list of transplant candidates), his donation was a lifeline for a woman in kidney failure. He saved her life. Within days, he was out of the hospital and recovering at home. Living kidney donations are recovered laproscopically, so his recovery was relatively short. He is very humble and doesn’t want media attention or some big event in his honor. He just wanted to give one person a second chance. That’s exactly what he did.

[ ], please reply with your mailing address so I can send you some goodies. You are an inspiration!

I cannot tell you how incredible this phone call was and what it meant to me on so many levels. Having an organization call and tell me that what I am doing is causing excitement and then using a word on the level of "inspiration" really very humbling.

She also mentioned in our phone conversation that they know of THREE people that have donated altruistically. That is, to a stranger. I thought what I was doing was pretty cool. But for someone like the person above, THAT is incredible.

I had mentioned legitimacy in a past blog post. Our conversations don't make me a gosling under the wing of mother goose so to speak. But again, having organizations like CORE and American Liver Foundation of Western PA allow me to continue to pursue my project is very rewarding. It has also given me access to resources that I may not have had otherwise.

Both CORE and ALF of WPA are sending me some information as well as some SWAG that I can give to the subjects of my portraits.

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