Laura Ann the Intern: A Personal Connection

Recently I was presented with a great opportunity here at The Living Legacy Foundation. I was given the chance to interview one of our volunteers, Marty Smith who is a heart and double lung recipient, for our quarterly newsletter. I was very excited about this opportunity for two reasons: it gave me the ability to implement strategies I have learned in my classes at Towson University, and it also gave me the chance to hear a transplant story straight from the source.

As I spoke with Marty, I was greatly touched that he took the time to tell me about all he has been through. I was able to learn so much from him and compile the information into a piece to recognize Marty and all he does to help LLF raise awareness about the true importance of becoming a registered organ, eye and tissue donor.

As part of my internship, I am encouraged to attend a variety of community outreach events. During my time here, I have been able to attend numerous school presentations as well as public events. A short time ago, I visited Baltimore City College High where we spoke to many different health classes. This was particularly a great experience for me because I was given the chance to lead a few presentations with the classes.

Many students were willing to share their stories about their personal connection to donation and for this I was thankful.  Amazingly, there was a 16-year-old boy in one of those classes who received a bone transplant at the age of eight after being diagnosed with bone cancer. I was very impressed with his willingness to share his story with me, and it was inspiring.

Hopefully throughout the duration of my internship, I am presented with more opportunities like these and am able to help make a difference just as everyone does here day in and day out.

On an a more personal note, last week a childhood friend of mine suffered from cardiac arrest and had to be revived by paramedics. Even though the doctors were able to get her heart pumping again, she remained in a coma for a few days. Thankfully, she is no longer in a coma, but due to the damage her heart sustained, she is going to need a lot of medical care and possibly surgeries in the next few weeks. It is even possible she may need a new heart valve or a pace maker. I can only hope and pray everything will work out for her and she will be alright, but if she does end up needing an organ or tissue transplant, I will remain positive and will be able to provide her with a lot of success stories I’ve witnessed first hand while working for The LLF.

Prior to arriving at The Living Legacy Foundation, I must admit I did not know much about donation, other than thinking it was important to be a donor.  After working here for a couple of months, meeting recipients and hearing stories from our volunteers, it became clear to me how important this cause is. Now, with my friend being in the situation she’s in, I see how this cause candation ( partners)do on a daily basis gender, social status affect anyone at any time. I have an even greater appreciation for the work The Living Legacy Foundation and all their community partners do on a daily basis.

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