Elaine

December 13, 2019

When I was in high school I met a woman named Elaine Garcia Fischer. She was the stepmom of a boy I was dating. She was no longer married to the boy’s father, but the kid needed a place to land and she took him in. He was her son.
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When the boy was just out of high school he was in a horrible car accident and was paralyzed. Elaine was his support system in the hospital and once he came home. She showed up for him, again.
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10 years later I reconnected with the boy and he told me that Elaine was sick. She had a genetic liver disease and she needed a transplant. She was so sick. At one point she got taken off the transplant list because she developed breast cancer. So she had to beat that before she could get back on the list. She beat it.
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I went to SF around this time and spent a few days doing a myriad of tests to see if I could give her a portion of my liver (livers regenerate after a live donation!). Unfortunately I wasn’t a match. I remember during the psychological evaluation the therapist was really trying to suggest that perhaps I was offering to donate just because I wanted to impress my ex-boyfriend. 🙄 No, I was offering to do it because she was an amazing person who deserved to be healthy.
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Elaine eventually got a liver transplant, 10 years ago. With that transplant she got her life back. She got to see her baby granddaughter grow up, she got more time with her loved ones. She created friendships, and art, and joy.
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She has been a regular donor and volunteer for all my nonprofit projects, since I first started doing them. She has the most giving and compassionate soul, she always has.
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Since getting her transplant Elaine has had to fight cancer again, a couple times. She’s fought hard each time. Again and again she’s handled her health issues with a grace and strength that is unbelievable.
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Recently, Elaine’s cancer has come back, again. But this time there’s no way for her to fight her way out.
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So she’s put down the fight and taken up grace. I’m in awe of her, as I’ve been over and over again, since I was 15 years old.
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In honor of Elaine, I would like to ask you all to take a minute to register as an organ donor. Signing the back of your license or a donor card is not enough. To officially register as an organ donor, go to this link: https://registerme.org/ - After you register you can go into your account and specify any restrictions you may want.
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1 organ, eye, and tissue donor can heal more than 75 lives. 95% of people support organ donation, but only 58% are actually signed up as donors.
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You can also register at https://bethematch.org to be added to the bone marrow donor list.
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You could be the reason someone gets a childhood, or sees their grandbaby grow up, or travels the world, or simply gets a second chance to live unencombered by health issues.
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I’m so grateful that I’ve had the chance to know Elaine and to learn from the way she’s lived every day of her life, especially these final ones.
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You, my friend, are grace.

 

 

 

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Dawn is a mom, writer, and designer from Sacramento, CA. She is tired.

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