The Decision to be a Donor

It doesn’t seem like that long ago I was in high school. I text my parents this morning to let them know my ACL is 10 years old today. I won’t even go into detail that my dad had no idea what I was talking about. He just agreed I was old. Woof.

I tore my ACL my senior year of high school. I had my ACL reconstructed 10 years ago today. Here are the three options I was given to repair my ACL:

  1. My Patellar tendon (the one where you get the typical ACL scar)
  2. My Hamstring tendon (no scar)
  3. A cadaver’s ACL

If I was going to do the surgery, I wanted the scar. Not to mention, I remember thinking how weird it would be to have someone else’s ACL in MY body. Oh and there was the risk that my body might reject that ligament. Mr. Surgeon, I will use my patellar tendon! I want the scar and all the glory of tearing my ACL!

It doesn’t seem that long ago that I met one of my very best friends in college. I guess that has been almost 8 years now. Woof. With meeting my best friend, I also got to know her entire family. Sometime during college, we celebrated her dad’s heart birthday. I believe it was his 18th! And sometime during college, my family became organ donors.

It doesn’t seem that long ago that my neighbor (I use this term loosely; I believe he lives about 6 miles from my parents) was diagnosed with leukemia. My parents, specifically my mom, wanted to do anything and everything she could to ease their pain. One thing she really wanted to do was sign up to see if she would be a match to donate bone marrow. Unfortunately for my mom, she’s too old. Fortunately for me, I’m not. I promised her I would sign up.

It wasn’t until May 11, 2016 that I finally signed up. I was working at Louisiana Tech University and they were having a drive. I walked maybe 50 steps outside of my office to swab my cheek. It took me at most maybe 5 minutes, and that included filling out the paperwork.

My point is, until I’m directly affected by something, I don’t think about it. I didn’t know you could use a cadaver’s ACL to replace your own. There’s absolutely no reason I was never an organ donor until I met someone who received a heart transplant. And the only reason I wasn’t on the bone marrow registry is because quite honestly, I didn’t know about it.

Join the Registry

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2 thoughts on “The Decision to be a Donor

  1. Kayla I’m Kelly’s Aunt Mary you just brought joyful tears to me. My cousin in heaven is your new guardian Angel she had two transplants in her fight to beat cancer, we even had a drive in her name. Thank you so much and good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

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