On February 16th, 2018, my daughter Sophie and I are going to fly to Tanzania and then climb Mount Kilimanjaro. Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa and the highest free standing mountain in the world. It stands at 19,341 feet or 5,895 meters. We are climbing Mount Kilimanjaro to raise awareness of the importance of registering as an organ, cornea and tissue donor. We want to reach the top of Mount Kilimanjaro and hold the Donate Life flag proudly. We will have written the names of all our donors on the flag. ALL money raised will go to New England Donor Services (where I volunteer) to raise awareness for organ, tissue and cornea donation.
My sister, T, died waiting for a lung transplant at the age of 54. T is still my inspiration to do things that sadly she won't get the chance to do. I will be wearing her photo on the climb and when it gets tough, I will think of everything she went though just trying to breathe, just waiting for the call that never came.
I don't want any more families to lose loved ones simply because there are not enough registered donors. Only 2% of everyone who dies does so in circumstances that would allow them to be a potential donor, whether they were registered or not. With such a small percentage of available organs it is so important to get everyone registered. Most people would accept a life saving organ for themselves or their loved one, yet not all are registered.
I want to raise awareness to get people talking and thinking about registering. To get people to be part of the solution, not part of the problem. Every dollar/pound raised will go to New England Donor Serivices, where I volunteer, to help to raise awareness for organ, cornea and tissue donation.
Remember: you are far more likely to need an organ transplant than to be an organ donor. Wouldn't you hope there was an organ available to save your life or the life of a loved one?
By the way, I want you all to live long, happy and healthy lives. The oldest cornea donor was 107 when she died and restored the sight of someone. At 93, a gentleman donated his liver upon his death and saved the life of a young man.
At 19,341 feet, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro won't be easy and altitude sickness is something we can't train for, but we are going to take it slow and do our best.
Thank you so much for your support.
Liz and Sophie
US Checks can be made out to New England Donor Services and write "Liz & Sophie's climb" on the memo line. They can be given to me, Sophie or mailed directly to
New England Donor Services,
60 First Avenue
Waltham, MA 02451