Sunday, September 29, 2013

An Organ Donor Nazi?! Hmmmmmm....

Recently I was riding in a van with a group of people and one of them brought out their license for some reason and I asked if they had a heart on their license (the state of MI puts little red hearts on our licenses when we sign up to be a donor).  This person did have a heart and as he was showing me one of my friends declared, "Joyce is the organ donor nazi now."  I replied, "Yep, that's me" and didn't give it too much thought for the rest of the night.  However that comment has stuck with me, I'm not quite sure why except for the fact I don't want to be compared to a nazi and why make a comment like that?
The straightforward definition of Nazi does not fit :

n. pl. Na·zis
1. A member of the National Socialist German Workers' Party, founded in Germany in 1919 and brought to power in 1933 under Adolf Hitler.
2. often nazi An adherent or advocate of policies characteristic of Nazism; a fascist.

However, I dug deeper and found this in the definition :

3. (often l.c.Sometimes Offensive. a person who is fanatically dedicated to or seeks to control a specified activity, practice, 

So, am I 'fanatically dedicated 'to promoting organ donation?  ABSOLUTELY!  Am I offensive about it? NEVER!
I chose to promote organ donation so I can help others and find positive in a predominantly negative life sentence of BO that has been dealt to me. I created my tshirts to promote this message. So many people have signed up because of my story and I don't state that to give myself a pat on the back I say that because when 1 person signs up to donate organs they have the potential to save 8 others.  Here's a random example, 20 people have signed up after hearing my story, the potential to save 160 people is now a reality!!!! That's mind blowing! If I'm not able to get new lungs then by golly I'm gonna make sure someone else does. 
So if that means I'm a "nazi" then so be it.  I will not stop educating others on the power of organ donation, I will not stop wearing my green bracelet, and I will never stop believing in the miracle that is organ donation. 
To sign up to an organ donor in the state of MI, visit
or if you live outside of Michigan visit or your local secretary of states website.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Pulmonary Rehab complete!

I graduated from pulmonary rehab last Thursday! WAHOOOO!
I can't say I will miss it, I always felt a little self conscious in there.  Like  everyone was wondering, "why is she here, what's wrong with her."  Now that may be my imagination but my suspicions became a reality when I was waiting for class to begin and 2 older ladies innocently asked why I was in rehab.  Well I must have needed to cry as the tears quickly came trying to explain I needed new lungs due to a rare disease.  Soon other class members were coming in and I could tell the ladies felt bad and immediately said they would be praying for me.

I don't mind telling my story but it still hurts knowing I'm not the same person I was and having to accept my new reality. This is my new lot in life. Keep moving forward, some days are easier than others.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

When you put yourself out "there"...

"There" for me was creating this blog and going public.  It was definitely daunting and certainly exposing.  But I was determined to help someone with my story, determined to promote organ donation, and determined to stay upbeat.  Well the latter isn't always easy, I have my days of "Why me?" but for the most part I think I'm doing a pretty good job.

The upside of going "there" is meeting some very extraordinary people and sharing our journeys. I just met the daughter of Bill who needs a double lung transplant very badly.  He currently has 9% lung function and EVERY movement is a struggle.  He cannot be listed at Spectrum until he gains 5 lbs.  (There are very rigorous requirements that a patient must meet before transplant listing can occur).
I continue to be amazed on how the human body compensates and the spirit continues to withstand in adverse circumstances.
  Can you imagine becoming short of breath just by standing up from a seated position-- Bill experiences this.
Can you picture yourself becoming short of breath cutting watermelon-- Pete experiences this.

Imagine walking around your high school and becoming winded -- Bryan experiences this.

What about walking and talking- no biggie, right? For me, it's nearly impossible.

The human body is amazing beyond comprehension but it is the human spirit that is the prize winning champion in the end.
So to my friends I've met through this blog and/or Facebook --KEEP FIGHTING, KEEP LIVING, AND MOST IMPORTANTLY KEEP BREATHING ONE BREATH at a time.

And let's all remember to go "there", and keep encouraging one another.

WHOOOOO-RAAAAAAHHHHH!! Go ahead yell it out loud- it feels good. Just go there....