People & Place: Organ donations save lives

Valencia County News-Bulletin | Julia Dendinger

Come here for a minute. We need to talk about something serious.

I typically use this little bit of newsprint to vent about my kids, my cats, my weeds, but sometimes there are bigger issues to address.

As many of you know, just a few weeks ago a Belen family lost their son, Jonathan Madrid. Until his death, I didn’t know Jonathan and I didn’t know his parents, John and Judy Madrid, and his sister, Lashea.

Arguably, I still don’t “know” them, but at a time of immense grief and sorrow, they allowed me, a complete stranger, to sit and talk with them about their son and the amazing thing he did.

Jonathan was an organ donor. It’s not something your typical 18-year-old thinks about, at least I am under the impression they don’t. Not only was Jonathan an organ donor, but he was able to gift his liver to his friend, Willie Martinez, literally giving him a new lease on life.

When I think about Jonathan having the foresight to communicate his desire to be an organ donor and his parents’ commitment to his wishes in the face of the worst thing that can ever happen to a parent, I have no words. They are all nothing short of heroes in my book.

Heroes are in short supply in this world. Too often we — and I include myself among the we — look the other way. Continue reading