April is National Donate Life Month and it reminds us that we all hold the power to help others in life and in death. Tri-County Health Care staff and several guests gathered at the Garden of Hope to raise the Donate Life flag. Every year, those affected by organ donations raise the flag to honor those that gave everything for the health of others. The ceremony and the following proceedings are designed to motivate others to give the gift of life.
Tri-County Health Care has taken a stand for everyone in need of organ and tissue donation. According to LifeSource, an organization dedicated to facilitating organ donation, Tri-County Health Care’s 13 donors have helped over 975 people in six years.
“Events like this get people’s minds thinking about donation and spur them to register to be donors,” said Barb Nelson, from LifeSource.
Sarah Fisher spoke during the ceremony. She drove from Horace, North Dakota to dedicate a paver to her son, Cameron, who lost his life in a car accident. Cameron was an organ donor and was passionate about helping others. His family wanted to amplify his goodwill to persuade others to give the gift of life.
“Without LifeSource, this process of organ donation and the grief that a parent goes through when they lose a child would have been unbearable,” said Sarah in a tearful address during the ceremony.
Sarah lost her son during the summer of 2018. Her son’s passing was a personal tragedy but because Cameron was an organ donor, he was able to save the lives of many. His heart, kidney, liver, corneas, bone tissue, and ligaments were all donated. Altogether, his donations helped 72 people and his bone and ligaments continue to be used. This motivated Sarah to spread the word of her son’s generosity to save more people. She is currently trying to have a Garden of Hope constructed in Fargo.
“Every day, there’s people who join the waiting list and every day, there’s people that die because they didn’t get that life-saving organ.” Said Sarah.
Before the pandemic, Sarah explained that she was able to meet some of the donation recipients. Those individuals had been waiting for so long and were very near death. When they got the call about Cameron’s passing, everything changed. They were saved. Sarah emotionally recounted meeting them and their families; she was overwhelmed by the good her son had done.
“What the gift of life means to us is that Cameron’s death meant something,” said Sarah.
The random act of kindness rock
Sarah and her husband have a robust web presence dedicated to spreading their son’s story. The couple has been hiding special rocks emblazoned with the Donate Life logo in various places worldwide. The random act of kindness rocks encourages others to become organ donors while telling Cameron’s story. Anyone that finds it is supposed to put a little good into the world. If you find one, do something nice for someone else in remembrance of Cameron and his giving spirit.
One of these rocks has been hidden near the Garden of Hope. Take a stroll and find the special stone. When you find it, please follow the instructions included and put some positive energy into the world.