Dear Family and Friends,
I hope that this letter finds you well and enjoying your summer. As many of you already know, I am currently working on my Eagle Scout Project. When I was making the final decision on a project, I knew that I wanted to do something that meant a lot to me. I wanted my project to honor my Pop, Kelly Johnson, and bring awareness to the desperate need for people to become organ donors. A stranger made the decision to donate his organs and that decision has forever changed our family.
For those of you that don’t know my story, let me catch you up...When I was one, Pop received a heart transplant. He lived in a room at Duke University Hospital for 8 months waiting for a heart to become available. I, along with my parents, visited him every other weekend. We stayed in hotel rooms when we visited. We have lots of pictures of me around the hospital with Pop. The nurses always enjoyed seeing me come. (At least that is what they tell me!) We only had one false alarm during those 8 months and once we got the second call, we went flying down the mountain to see him before they took him back. My parents tell me it was like a scene out of a movie...we were running down the hall just as they were wheeling him out of his room.
Fast forward almost 15 years...Pop and I are very close. He is one of my best friends. He comes to all my basketball games, baseball games, track meets; whatever it is, if I’m involved, he is there, along with my Grandmama, to support me. We like to watch the Demon Deacons and the San Antonio Spurs play basketball. We like to watch the tv show Elementary together. I like just hanging out with him; he is a pretty cool guy. Pop has done extremely well with his transplant. He goes to Duke now only twice a year.
My entire life, I’ve heard the story of how one stranger completely transformed our family into what it is today. What better way to honor Pop’s donor and him than to have more people sign up to become organ donors? Over 3,300 people in North Carolina are waiting for an organ transplant, and over 123,000 in the United States.
With the help of Donate Life North Carolina, I am sponsoring a 5K Run for Donate Life NC. This event is scheduled for August 15, 2015 at Avery County High School. The run will begin at 9 am with early registration taking place starting at 8 am. Donate Life NC will be there answering questions and signing people up for the registry.
I am including a registration form with this letter. I would love for everyone of you to come to Avery County and participate in this with me and my family. Here are some ways you can help me see my project to completion:
2. If you can’t make it and are not already an organ donor, please visit donatelifenc.org and find out how you can become one;
3. Help financially; any funds that are left over after the event will be donated to Donate Life NC.
4. Pray for this project; specifically for good weather the day of the race, for safety for those running, and for those coming to have an open heart and mind about organ donation.
I am looking forward to seeing many of you on August 15th. I could not do this without the support of my family and friends.