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Donor Stories

Dashing to Remember an Angel

Every year, my family and I gather at Lifeline of Ohio’s Dash for Donation 5K race and family walk to honor the life of my youngest sister, Emi, a hero of organ donation.

Our team, “Remembering an Angel,” promoted organ, eye and tissue donation on foot and honored Emi’s legacy with our hot pink team shirts and a poster featured on the Donor Remembrance Wall. As I picked up Emi’s poster at this year’s race on July 13, 2013, I met a heart recipient who was looking at the posters of donors with his 11-year-old son.

Emi's poster appeared on the Donor Remembrance Wall at the Dash for Donation.

Emi’s poster appeared on the Donor Remembrance Wall at the Dash for Donation.

After I showed him Emi’s tribute and explained my connection to donation, he shared with me the overwhelming feeling of gratitude and appreciation he has for his donor and the donor’s family. Having heard from just a couple of Emi’s five recipients, this heart recipient provided some words of comfort. Though he wasn’t Emi’s heart recipient, we feel that his message is one we will never forget.

Emi was an outgoing, adventurous 19-year-old who was dedicated to her family and friends and was steadfast in her Catholic faith. She loved to play volleyball, basketball, go shopping and try new adventures with her many friends. As the baby of the family (with four older sisters, she was proud to tell others that she really had five moms), she would often jokingly say “don’t judge!” if other sisters or brothers-in-law would express feelings that were not quite as open-minded as she wanted us all to be.

Emi Sheibley, Claire's sister, became a life-saving organ donor in 2009.

Emi Sheibley, Claire’s sister, became a life-saving organ donor in 2009.

On November 22, 2009, Emi was involved in a fatal car accident. When the doctor came and told us that she was a registered organ donor, we had no doubt that donation was the right thing to do and supported her designation without hesitation. Emi hoped to become a nurse because she wanted to help others and we took comfort knowing she would do just that in her death.

My family is very proud that Emi was an organ donor. There isn’t much positivity in the midst of a tragedy like this, but organ donation is something that helps in the healing process.  As the heart recipient said to us at the Dash, “Emi helped others to live and she will never be forgotten.”

You can say yes and save lives like Emi did by registering at your local BMV or by clicking here to register online.

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