For each balloon, an organ donor was thoughtful enough to help improve the life of someone in need. Although Brenda Alawine was not directly affected, she and her family have benefitted from the kindness of a donor.
"Oh, my nephew had a heart transplant four years ago and fortunately the heart did come," explained Alawine.
Brenda's nephew, Terry James II, got the heart of Abigail Lear. She died in a car crash four years ago. Because she was willing to donate her organs, Terry lived two years longer than expected. This ceremony is an opportunity to honor those two cherished years.
BRENDA'S NEPHEW, TERRY JAMES THE SECOND GOT THE HEART OF ABIGAIL LEAR. SHE DIED IN A CAR CRASH FOUR YEARS AGO. BECAUE SHE WAS WILLING TO DONATE HER ORGANS, TERRY LIVED TWO YEARS LONGER THAN EXPECTED. THIS CEREMONY IS AN OPPORTUNITY TO HONOR THOSE TWO CHERISHED YEARS.
"It's just a way of saying thank you to the people who donate life," said Alawine.
Brenda was just one of a few who showed up. A large crowd attended the ceremony to express their appreciation for the gift of life. For Brenda, it was nice to know that others have had to deal with such a tough issue.
"It just let's me know that our family is not the only one going through a situation like this," said Alawine.
According to organdonor.gov there are 103,485 waiting list candidates as of September 14th, 2009. Those who have received an organ donation tell us they understand how blessed they are. Recpients are more than grateful for those willing to donate. They have a specific message for those donors.
"O, thank you, thank you for donating life," praised Alawine.
And for the recipients, life is the best gift of all.