Saturday, August 20, 2016

And It Moves Us All

This coming week I will have a "longread" that captures my thoughts, feelings, and experiences from honor my donor and celebrating my second Transplantaversary. For the moment, as the clock nears the hour when I was wheeled back for surgery two years ago, I share this photo and its context:

As you can tell, my son is pointing... but at what?  

He's getting me to look at a cloud formation directly in front of the setting sun. He realized, before I did, that it looked like the famous cliff from the Lion King. He said, "Dad, doesn't that look like the circle of life?"  

Considering the circumstances that led us to that beach, that moment... It was pristine, innocently wise, and unforgettable. 

Special thanks to my niece Taylor who was using her fancy camera to take photos throughout the evening. You will see more of her work in future posts.

 

Monday, July 18, 2016

52 Steps to My First Vlog


I've been to many beaches since my transplant nearly two years ago-- but not this one. The first and only other time I've been to my brother-in-law's cottage, I was on the transplant list, on oxygen, and definitely not ready to face the steep stairs to the beach. 

I stayed up near the volleyball net and tried, without much success, to chase my son around while wearing a portable oxygen concentrator on my back. 

This visit was so much different. It included a lightsaber battle and races on the sand. It was so satisfying to reclaim what I'd been unable to do two years ago. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Father's Day Collaboration

This year, I spent Father's Day totally one-on-one with my son, since my wife is currently taking her mom and aunt on a tour of Ireland, an my own dad's plans (along with the plans of my two brothers) did not permit all of us to be in the same place at the same time.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Memorialis: Without my Donor

 

"Memorialis" is Latin for "serving as a reminder."  The past two weekends have been filled with moments that have reminded me of how fortunate I am.  They've been crammed with so many joyful experiences-- events that I would not have lived to see without my donor.  In this post I examine what these past two weekends would have been like for my wife and son if my donor hadn't given me this second chance at life...

Thursday, May 19, 2016

"Eye of the Tiger"


Last week, I shared the Rocky Recreation video here on the blog, but also to the Gift of Life Michigan Facebook page.  Since that day, it has been viewed over 18,000 times.  As of yesterday, that number was 16,000.  One of the individuals who runs the GOLM Facebook page sent me an email with more metrics, and they are in the image below. 

          I know one cannot declare his or herself as having "gone viral," but my wife said that I am one
          local news story or a share on the Donate Life America webpage from earning that label.

          I hope, beyond reaching people already invested in the concept of organ and tissue donation,
          that I am one day able to reach a large audience of those who are not the most likely candidates
          to consider becoming donors. 

          Right now I am starting small; I have spoken to 180+ kids over the past five days, all of whom
          are students at the high school I used to teach at.  Speaking to them about my transplant
          experience and the importance of being a donor is, I feel, the least I can do with my skills and
          this incredible second chance at life.  I hope to share portions of these talks with you in the
          coming days.

 

Monday, May 9, 2016

"Gonna Fly Now"

     This past weekend held many "firsts" for me.  My first trip to the Philadelphia.  My first time flying alone.  And, the primary reason for this post, my first time flying since the transplant.

Monday, May 2, 2016

One Year Blog-iversary

     When someone told me the night of April 29th, 2015, that I should write a book about my life, the logical step to take was to just start writing.  But, my wife encouraged me to do it through a blog, because a) it would be refined enough to be in (or close to) "publication form," and 2) writing for an audience right away, rather than just in the long term, would provide motivation to keep going.  Now, it is just over a year later (the blog-iversary was on April 30th) and I have written more in this past year than in any other in my life.  I posted 126 entries, which means I wrote and published something on just over one-third of the days in the past year.  And, over these past 366 days, my writing has been read over 10,700 times. 

     My wife, as she always is, was correct-- telling my story though a blog was the best way to approach writing a book.  I have only about seven or eight "parts' of my life yet to write about, some more lengthy than others, before I can send my work to a few select people who have agreed to help me with the editing and proofreading process.  That will be a major step toward this blog becoming a book, but as one of my mentors stressed, "It isn't about writing, it's about re-writing."  I accept that I'm further away from being ready to contact publishers (I have a lead or two but if you know of anyone, let me know!) than I'd like to believe. 

     In the meantime, below is a post that contains links to the video of my speech from just over one year ago, as well as a link to the transcript of that speech. 

     I want to thank those of you who read this, whether you know me personally, whether you live half a world away and only know me through this blog, or both-- my former student in Germany is, I think, the only person in that category.  Your readership has been a huge motivating factor that has kept me coming back to the keyboard much more often than I otherwise would have.  You will definitely get special mention in my book.  Not individually, of course, though if you all want to send me your names I can make an appendix or something. ;)  And if this is your first time reading my posts, welcome aboard!  Most people who "follow" me do so through the open group page on Facebook called "Student, Teacher, Husband, Father: Evin's CF Journey."  Maybe I should think about shortening that group name.  ;)

~~ Alright, enough of all that... a previous blog entry with the aforementioned links are below!

     I am very happy to share the video of my speech at the CF Family Education Night.  U of M created a social work focused website with a Cystic Fibrosis subsection, and they have linked the video there.  By going to this link and clicking Part 2, you can see my entire speech, including the question and answer session which followed.  As far as I can tell, the speech will play on mobile devices as well as regular operating systems.  If you already read the speech when I posted it, you will see that I pretty much stuck to the script, with a few notable exceptions.  I am so grateful for having had the chance to speak at this even and for all of the great questions people asked after I spoke.  I also can't thank Dr. Simon enough.  He was my pulmonologist for 14 years prior to my transplant and gave me a better introduction than I could have asked for.  Feel free to let me know your thoughts or ask any additional questions in the comments section, or by contacting me through Gmail.