Every year, on the last Saturday in May, DonateLife Victoria holds a Remembrance Service to honor the donors and their families, and for recipients and their loved ones to give thanks.
This is our fourth Service since my husband had his liver transplant, and it is a very moving and emotional experience, always with a large attendance.
And this year marks the 25th anniversary of the first ever Remembrance Service, which was first held in St Paul’s Cathedral…
To hear donor families talk of their loved one brings home what a wonderful thing it is to receive a donor organ….to see a photo gallery of those who have become donors brings tears.
Organ donation really is the gift of life…and more.
Because not only does it save lives, it can enhance them….not only for the recipients, but for those who care for them.
This year, my husband had the honor of being invited to light a candle alongside a donor family….a symbolic way of saying thank you and that we will never forget.
Receiving a donor liver has totally changed our lives…we can plan ahead…we can live our lives to the full without having to worry about sickness and all it entails.
Another part of the Service which we enjoy is catching up with familiar faces from the Liver Transplant Unit…both fellow patients and staff.
We catch up on all their news and have the usual post transplant conversation of “what meds are you on now?”.
We get to met and share stories with others who have been on similar journeys of ill health but with different organ transplants.
The event also allows a space for donor families and recipients to come together as one.
Privacy is very important here in Australia when it comes to organ donation…there should not be any close contact like what happens in other countries.
Letters can be exchanged via DonateLife but any identifying information must be left out…both my husband and I have written letters, and we have received one back.
My husband’s donor family may have been sitting in the hall today…we have no wish to met them, but it is nice to have a formal opportunity to give thanks.