If 10 years ago, a family just like yours had not sat down and talked about organ donation, I wouldn’t be here writing this article. It’s that simple. I’d like to tell you my story with the hope that you will connect with some small part of it and that it will motivate you to openly discuss organ donation and the huge benefits that it brings to the family of the recipient and believe it or not the family of the donor. My name is Phil Goodwin. If you met me 5 years ago, you likely wouldn’t recognize me today. In 2002 I was 176 lbs at 6 foot 2 inches, I was in my routine of going to dialysis three times a week, I was taking turns between heart attacks and insulin reactions as my body battled between complications of kidney failure and diabetes. I had just completed my 19th surgery and was wondering if my body would be strong enough to make it through the next one. At 45 these are not the things one would expect to be worrying about.
Why should I register?
The difference organ donation has made in my life is obvious. For the donor family, the tragedy of loss is overwhelming and nothing can take away that pain. Organ donation however, can prevent others from feeling that same pain and what better tribute to the loss of your loved one? The family of my donor saved 8 other lives with their conversation around organ donation. Their son’s heart is still beating, his eyes are still seeing, his lungs still breathing. How can I not think about my donor regularly… he lives on inside me. Since then with the support of the CAW leadership, I have been a walking advocate for the Gift of Life foundation, speaking at numerous CAW events trying to increase awareness. Talk to your family. Sign your donor card. Give the gift of life.