Dashing to See the Sea of Green with New Eyes
ABOVE: Chris Nance, his wife Ashley and youngster Breckin will honor Chris’s cornea donor on July 13.
My wife Ashley and I have been registered organ donors for a number of years because we both have connections to donation. I hope to share what Lifeline of Ohio’s Dash for Donation and organ, eye and tissue donation means to us.
Ashley’s consistent interest in the medical field helped her become a nurse practitioner and transplant coordinator for Nationwide Children’s Hospital Lung and Heart/Lung Transplant unit. She evaluates patients pre-transplant to determine if they are candidates for transplantation, provides education both pre and post transplant and assists with management of their post transplant care. Watching Ashley’s face when they discover a patient will receive the gift of life through organ donation is an amazing sight to see.
Speaking of a sight to see, when I was a young child, I became a cornea transplant recipient when I received the gift of sight. I was diagnosed with an eye disorder known as Subluxated Lenses. As I grew, the lenses on my eye became detached. A number of procedures were performed to place a donor’s corneas on top of my eyes. The donor’s corneas served as my “permanent” contact lenses and my sight. I am proud to say that I can now pass my driver’s license eye exam without my glasses!Ashley volunteered for Lifeline of Ohio’s Dash for Donation in 2012. As a runner myself, I participated in a few prior races, but when she asked me to spend some time at Front Runner handing out packets to fellow runners, I jumped at the chance. I soon learned that speaking out about being a registered donor was MY way to honor the gift that my donor had given me. Volunteering at the race packet pickup is a way for Ashley and I to hear so many different people’s connections to organ/tissue donation. Planning the race on the Dash for Donation committee and watching the “sea of green” take off down Nationwide Boulevard is an amazing way to see how many people’s lives have been affected by donation. I look at the Dash as a party to celebrate, honor, and remember all of those folks who were either heroes in donation or those who unfortunately were forced to wait just a little too long.
If anyone knows a family member or a friend who is hesitant about becoming a registered donor , encourage them to come down to the Dash for Donation on July 13. Registration is open – click here to sign-up!
Seeing first-hand how many lives can be affected by one person’s generous gift is a life-changing experience.
Thanks to my donor, I was given the gift of clearer sight and will be fortunate enough to SEE that sea of green rolling through the streets of downtown Columbus on July 13!