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1.800.847.7831 LifeNet Health and Healing the Spirit are registered trademarks of LifeNet Health, Inc.


In This Issue of DFQ o o o o o o o o

Tyler's Decision - He saved seven lives Healing Tears- Ask Dr. Lani Tribute Album Retreat - Sign up for a summertime solace Healing the Spirit - The Healing Garden Comforting the Soul - Summer Memories LifeNet Health Florida - Katie Ride for Life In Celebration & Remembrance Ceremonies - View photos Ambassador Volunteers - Don't miss kick-off party/training program

Welcome New Subscribers LifeNet Health is pleased to extend Donor Family Quarterly to our newest group of donor families located in the Pacific Northwest. In May 2012, LifeNet Health acquired Northwest Tissue Services in Renton, WA, just outside Seattle. Greetings to our newest readers. We hope the articles, photos and links in our quarterly newsletter will be meaningful for you.

Tyler's Decision: He Saved Seven Lives

In April 2012, 20-year-old Chesapeake, VA resident Tyler Hirst was fatally struck by a car while riding his bike. An avid skateboarder and cyclist, he is still deeply missed by his family, who rallied together earlier this year to honor Tyler's decision to be an organ donor. Standing among family and friends in a parking lot near the site of Tyler's accident, his family holds on to the memory of how he gave the gift of life to seven people on the waiting list and enhanced health for many more through tissue donation. Tyler's uncle Charlie said "he was a good kid in so many ways." The small crowd gathered and cheered "Be like Tyler. Be a hero. Check the box. Donate Life." The 'box' refers to the option to donate organs and tissue on your driver's license. photo courtesy of

LifeNet Health was happy to report to the family that among those who received Tyler's lifesaving gifts were a 59-year-old Army veteran through liver donation and two kidney recipients, a 43-year-old single mother of four and a 31-year-old Air Force veteran, a father of three. Tyler's heart allows a 56-year-old man to continue to ride horses and spend time with his three children. The rally was covered by the local ABC news affiliate WVEC TV 13. Watch the video and read the article here.

Healing Tears: Ask Dr. Lani Leary

Dear Dr. Leary: Why do we find meaning in attending the In Celebration & Remembrance ceremonies year after year? Friends may say this is really sad that we have not "gotten over" the death of our daughter, but for us, we have a chance to once again feel her memory and be with people who understand this journey. Why do we keep returning? Is there something wrong with this? - a LifeNet Health family

Dear LifeNet Heath family: It takes great courage to grieve, because it asks you to be open and vulnerable to your deepest wound. Your grief exposes you and can make you feel out of control. It takes courage to feel your pain and share it with others. It takes courage to learn how to live in a new world, in a new way, without your loved one. But in our culture, the bereaved most often report that they feel alone with their grief. You may have felt abandoned just weeks after the funeral. You may have felt as

though you were on your own, trying to navigate this unknown territory by yourself. Or people often say that they feel shamed that their grief has not abated to other's timetables. That is, until we find a community of others who know our experience of death and grief; who share our common language; who also know what we need and what helps. You return to rituals and ceremonies that honor your loved one because you find meaning and solace in a shared experience with love and loss. You are in community with each other, and the connection is what makes your loss more bearable. In this community of the bereaved you have created a safe space. You are a family and you are as different as you are similar. While each of your losses is unique, each one of you is the expert for your grief alone, but you all grieve and are in community. You share the human condition of being vulnerable and that is what connects all of us. Each of your heartaches is unique and none of it is common...but you have much in common. You grieve because you have loved. You come together again to remember and honor that love, and you come to these remembrance celebrations because it is here that you are given permission, time, safety, and validation to grieve. Together, during these remembrance celebrations, you do not need to be afraid that you will forget or that your loved ones will be forgotten. You can speak their name; you can tell their stories; you carry on their legacy; you share your loved one with others. Just having a caring environment in which you can express your feelings and be heard is profoundly healing. All grief needs to be blessed, and in order to be blessed, it must be heard. Someone must be present to your expression of grief, someone who is willing to hold it by listening without judgment or comparison. When you wail or tell your story of loss, it is based in your need that your loss not go unnoticed-the death of your loved one will not be overlooked, and your loved one's place in the world will be marked. Grief is an expression that validates your loved one's existence in the world and acknowledges that love for a person does not die just because she or he did. Blessings,

Lani Dr. Leary is a psychologist and certified grief therapist who consults with LifeNet Health. Her responses reflect her professional opinion to general questions. If you're struggling with complicated grief, we encourage you to seek the care of a professional. Please submit your questions to Healing Tears.

Tribute Album Retreat is a summertime solace Throughout the year, LifeNet Health offers various workshops and retreats for donor family members who wish to join with others to memorialize and honor their

loved ones. These retreats have proven to be very helpful to our donor families who participate. Thanks to the generous support of the LifeNet Health Foundation, we're planning our sixth annual Tribute Album Retreat at beautiful W.E. Skelton 4-H Educational Conference Center at Smith Mountain Lake in southwestern Virginia on Friday, July 26 through Sunday, July 28. Space is limited. RSVP quickly if you would like to attend this popular retreat. Call Tina Pierce at 1-800-847-7831, ext. 4903 or email

Healing the Spirit: The Healing Garden The Healing Garden is a child-grief web page with interactive activities to help children express their grief and remember their loved one through creative expression. A child 4-9 years of age, accompanied by an adult, can create a virtual garden in memory of their loved one. They can plant and water seeds then watch them bloom, revealing lessons on the healing nature of the grief journey to talk about with their adult companion. Add other objects to the garden, some producing delightful surprises when you search them out. The Healing Garden won the 2007 American Association of Tissue Banks promotional tools contest Best in Category award. See the adult companion page for more information.

Comforting the Soul: Summer Memories by Sarah L. Decker, MA, CIC-CSp Summer. Cold dark days are gone as the trees and flowers jump to life under the glow of the sun's warmth. This is a season where children are off for school break, family reunions begin, and vacations are planned, new memories are made. Unfortunately the processes of making new memories can bring with it the wistfulness of past recollections. What happens when the fondest memories of summertime are shadowed under the storms of your past? Grief can cloud reminiscence with the aching of what was. Starting with permission to grieve, you will move into giving yourself authorization to remember, and therefore consent to move forward and make new memories. Think of your happiest and most comforting summertime recollections. Some memories you will need to stir up inside of you while others will hit you at times that will seem delightfully blindsiding. Decide what it is you like best about these memories. Was it the look on your dad's face when he asked if you wanted some money for the ice cream truck? Maybe it was the way your daughter belly flopped

into the pool and despite the tears of regret that came along with the red raised slap mark on her stomach, you find it's the triumphant look on her face as she flew; arms open into the air and leapt into the deep end that makes you grin. Looking at these thoughts in a positive way reinforces the feeling not of loss, but of fulfillment that only our experiences can give us. Imagine if you never had those memories, nothing to think back on, nothing to chuckle about, what then would be left in your mind? Embracing memories moves us toward our grief. This forward movement reminds us that we had loving interactions, and we are better off for having these relationships, no matter how brief. Laugh about them! Laughter is a gift you can give yourself through remembrance. It is a form of honoring your loved one's memory and the way they lightened up your world. Look forward to summer and all it brings with it. Take hold of the thoughts of your loved ones as they come to you. Share them with others. Like many candles lit from the same fire, you will brighten up the world, one memory at a time.

LifeNet Health Florida Sponsors Katie Ride for Life David Caples, owner of the Elizabeth Pointe Lodge in Fernandina Beach, FL, started The Katie Caples Foundation with his wife Susan after their 17-year-old daughter Katie sustained fatal injuries in an auto accident in 1998. Katie gave the gift of life to five people on the transplant list through heart, lung, liver and kidney donation and enhanced the lives of dozens more through tissue donation. Today, her foundation works to educate teens about organ donation. LifeNet Florida has sponsored the foundation's Katie photo by Ride for Life since 2011. This year, as a Pace Line Sponsor, staff and volunteers promoted Florida's organ and tissue donor registry at the start/finish line. David and Susan Caples have been recognized by Donate Life America with the James S. Wolf Courage Award for their significant contributions toward educating the public about the need for organ, eye and tissue donation.

In Celebration & Remembrance Ceremonies Hundreds of donor family members and transplant recipients gathered recently as honored guests of LifeNet Health to honor and celebrate the lives of organ and tissue donors.

A lovely ceremony and reception was held at The Founders Inn & Spa in Virginia Beach.

A young guest places a flower for a loved one at Vinton War Memorial in Roanoke.

Richmond In Celebration & Remembrance Ceremony at Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens

Floating away at the In Celebration & Remembrance Ceremony in Seattle. Photo courtesy of Jerry & Lois Photography.

Ambassador Volunteers: Don't miss kick-off party/training program

Are you a LifeNet Health donor family volunteer in Virginia? Don't forget to RSVP to your mailed invitation to your local Ambassador Volunteer Program Kick-Off Party/Training. If you wish to stay an active volunteer, you will need to attend one of these sessions coming in June. RSVP to or call 1800-847-7831 ext. 4901 for more information.


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Donor family quarterly summer 2013  
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