Monday, June 28, 2010
DONATE LIFE ORGAN DONATION AWARENESS - WISCONSIN
Day 6 Legacy Tour
The second-last stop on the statewide Legacy of Life Tour takes us to Milwaukee. The event was at Discovery World at Pier Wisconsin. The building overlooks Lake Michigan. It was a great location for Milwaukee’s event!
At the event, Janel Lang shared her family’s multiple connections to organ donation.
In Sept. of 2007, Janel Lang waited for a kidney and liver transplant. In the hospital she weighed only 70 pounds. Toxins were building up in her body, and she had to undergo several belly taps to drain the fluid and dialysis to cleanse her blood. The entire time her husband, two kids, relatives and friends made a point to never let Janel wait alone. Someone was always by her side helping her through. Friends sent cards and even cooked meals, anything they could do to help out Janel and her family.
In a story of the experience, written by Janels’ sister-in-law’s partner, Mari, Mari said, “How does one pray for an organ when you know if you prayers are answered that means some other family is in crisis.”
It was, as I’m sure you can imagine, an incredibly difficult time. But on Sept. 24, Janel’s daughter Abby’s birthday, Janel got the call that they had the organs for her. After four months in the hospital and four other false alarms, Janel went into surgery and it was a success!
Janel is now training for a running event at the 2010 U.S. Transplant Games in Madison this summer!
But the Lang family’s story of organ donation doesn’t end there. In June of 2008, Lori Lang, who had been at Janel’s side through her entire transplant experience, even cooking for the staff at Froedtert Hospital where Janel was staying, had a brain aneurysm, and was taken from the Langs at age 43.
In Mari’s written story she remembers Lori as, “full of smiles spontaneity, support and laughter.”
Lori is now the Lang family’s angel. On June 8th,the family said goodbye to Lori and doctors approached her husband, Dan, asking about organ donation. He didn’t think twice.
“After seeing Janel wait and wait and wait, there was an unspoken understanding and support of organ donation so that no other family would have to agonize over a loved one’s wait on a list,” Mari recalled in her story.
But the Lang family would have yet another organ donation experience. Jodi, Janel’s sister-in-law, had a friend of 25 years in need of a kidney. Jodi right away went to get screened to see if she was a match. She insisted to her friend Kathy not to worry because she knew she would be a match. She was! Jodi gave her friend Kathy her own kidney. The surgery was a success and they are both happy and healthy.
The Lang family’s story is an incredible one of courage, loss, strength and selflessness.
Janel Lang helped present the representatives from the Lions Eye Bank with the next panel in the Paths of Love Donor Quilt.
The event was another success, filled with inspiration and accomplishment.
(Thank you to both Janel and Mari for sharing Mari’s written story with us. I was unable to attend this event, and much of my blog came from Mari’s story. Thanks for sending the story to us Janel, and thank you, Mari for writing it and sharing it.)
The next event is in Madison Wednesday, June 23rd at the Monona Terrace Convention Center! Hope you can come! See you there!
Remember: if you haven’t registered on the on-line donor registry, the site is YESIWILLWISCONSIN.ORG! Sign up and share your wishes with your loved ones!