With Liz’s Permission

It seemed appropriate to ask for it.

I’d just walked into the campground with my dog Rumi when I met Liz and her two pooches.  Cute little black something or others.  We got to talking about our dogs and I mentioned that Rumi has heart disease.  Not only does one of her dogs have it too, her young son just died of congestive heart failure this past July.

Liz was very forthcoming about her son’s illness – he was born with a weak heart – and her experiences with the Ronald McDonald House at Stanford where she spent a year with her son waiting for surgery and a heart donor.

Her son Sebastian died on the operating table as doctors attempted to insert a device that would help his heart ‘hold on’ until a donor could be found.  He was only four years old.

She seemed eager to show me her heart pendant necklace.  I’d noticed it when we first started talking and could see that the heart had something engraved on it but couldn’t tell for sure what it was.  It looked like it might be an angel wing or a feather.  It had that sort of pattern.

The imprint on her heart pendant is her son’s fingerprint.

I’m not normally one to spend a lot of time (any) talking with strangers, but I’m glad I did today.  When I asked Liz if I could share her and her son’s story, she asked me to spread the word of becoming an organ donor.

So that’s what I’m doing.

I became an organ donor for the first time just five months ago.  The idea always felt creepy, but I decided that my aversion to it was even more creepy.  I have the ability to save a life.  Maybe more than one.

That’s cool.  That seems like something worth doing.






  1. Thank you for sharing my story Jennifer! So many children (and adults) die waiting for various kinds of organ and tissue donation each day. Since doctors aren’t allowed to ask most berieved parents about donation in the worst moment of their lives, it’s up to the family to know in advance that if tragedy were to strike, they could give the gift of life to someone else. If anyone wants more info about organ donation http://www.donatelife.net is a fantastic resource! Many blessings to you!!


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