By MARY DOLAN | GoDanRiver.com
For one student at Reidsville High School, her senior project hits close to home.
When it came to deciding on a topic to be the focus of the intensive research paper and project seniors are faced with completing before graduating, Julie Templeton had no doubt she wanted to do hers on organ donation. Having watched her aunt await and ultimately receive life-saving kidney and pancreas transplants earlier this year, the topic is one about which she cares deeply.
Throughout back-to-back lunch periods during a recent afternoon, Templeton and her Aunt, Kathy Foster, manned a table in the cafeteria, telling students about the rewards of being a donor and passing out pamphlets of information.
Templeton said she can speak passionately to others about the transformative powers of organ donation because of her aunt.
“She really helped me, knowing you don’t get a second chance at everything,” Templeton said.
Foster agreed her niece is well equipped to speak on the matter.
“She saw just how I was,” Foster said, explaining how herdiabetes took a turn for the worse and left her in kidney failure. Foster endured the day-to-day uncertainty of being on a transplant list for nine months.
Foster received her new organs in April from Carl Andrew Turner, who was killed in a car accident. She said the donation of Tuner’s organs has not only improved her health but also her outlook on life.
Templeton said she was pleased to find that many of the students she talked with throughout the day already consider themselves donors. But, just in case, she reminded them of the ease when receiving or renewing their driver’s licenses of notating their desire to be a donor. She also talked with her classmate about Carolina Donor Services, the organization that helped link Foster with the family of Turner.
Foster commended her niece on deciding it worthwhile to talk to others about what organ donation can mean to a family.
“She sees the results of it, what being an organ donor is all about,” Foster said.