long live new york

Religion can be such a funny thing. It can unite, divide, isolate, or save.

Yet, there is one thing that all major religions agree on. One cause that brings life. One cause that is shared equally. Organ donation and the gift of life that it facilitates transcends all differences, transcends all politics, transcends all judgment.

People often think that organ donation is against their religion. Or maybe it is easier to not think about it at all. Because to think of donating organs means to think of death and that is an unpleasant thing to think about.

My daughter received a liver transplant when she was six weeks old. With only one percent of her liver still functioning at the time it was removed, we were so close to losing her. Before Matilda was diagnosed with acute liver failure at nine days old, I was completely naive to organ donation. I had been a registered donor since I got my driver's license when I was 15, but I never took the time to think about what it could mean to someone else. And I certainly never considered that babies and young children need organs from a donor of similar size.

But there I was holding my daughter's tiny hand in the hospital for five long weeks, hoping that one day I could bring her home. It is absolutely remarkable to me that another mother grew and nourished this beautiful organ that lives inside my daughter. That another mother in the saddest moment of her life was willing to gift my life with so much happiness though an act of kindness. That another mother said goodbye to her two-week-old child on the same day that I said hello to a new life with my six-week-old.

Despite religious or non-religious beliefs, we are all humans. We all deserve to be given the gift of life. A chance to make our world a better place to live in. A chance to laugh so hard it hurts. A chance to hold our children in our arms and tuck them in each night.

Please take a few moments to talk with your family about what organ donation is and how it can impact the lives of so many.

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