Kit: Give Me Sunshine by Connie Prince Template: Sensational Scraps volume 3 by Keystone Scraps

Nothing is more important than life and being able to live it fully. Thanks to a wonderful lady and her family, my niece Krissy is here today and none of us are taking it for granted! Krissy was diagnosed with heart disease when she was only eighteen months old. She required a heart transplant at five and another at eight years of age. Krissy did pretty well medically until she was seventeen and then began yet another journey of hospitalizations related to rejection and congestive heart failure. In June of 2009 she was placed back on the transplant list. She was hospitalized in August and shortly thereafter admitted to the ICU for more intense treatment of additional organ failure, including much needed dialysis. As the days turned into weeks, and the weeks into months, Krissy grew more ill and we became more anxious. Life became something to just get through. In October, Mariee Mena, a former Oklahoma University star softball player, was involved in a motorcycle accident and later succumbed to her head injuries. Her parents knew that Mariee had always wanted to be an organ donor. A few days after the accident, they honored her wish. The night of the transplant surgery was quite foggy and the transplant team could not safely land the plane in Oklahoma. With no thought to their own pain and grief, they agreed to keep Mariee on life support until the fog lifted rather than calling off the surgery. After holding and singing to her all night, the next morning they said goodbye to their beloved daughter. Because of this family's selflessness and unbelievable generosity, Mariee saved Krissy's life as well as the lives of many others - including a twelve year old boy named Curtis who urgently needed new kidneys. Today, we are blessed to have the Mena family in our lives. In addition to meeting with them yearly for Oklahoma University's annual Mariee Mena Memorial Walk, they were able to attend Krissy's wedding and we hope they know that if it wasn't for them, none of us would have seen this event occur. You ask what is magical to me. It's life. Life isn't our due, nor is it our right. It's our gift. We thank Mariee's family for not taking her organs to heaven, because heaven only knows they were needed here.