Thursday, May 7, 2015

Geneses *

     If the speech I gave at the U of M Family Retreat on April 29th (tired of hearing about that yet?) was the "birth" of my future as a person who gives his time and energy to spreading awareness of Cystic Fibrosis and transplant related issues, then the speech below was the "conception."  In November, I was asked to speak in front of the Plymouth Canton Educational Park's STEM students, who had collectively chosen Gift of Life Michigan as the recipient for their charity work this year, in my honor.  I felt so blessed to be able to speak with such a thoughtful group of teenagers, and doubly so because some of the seniors in the audience had me as a teacher right up until a CF exacerbation in February 2013 took me out of the classroom and eventually landed me on the lung transplant waiting list.

    One of my goals in these last two months of the school year is to connect with AP Biology teachers (or any science teacher interested in having me) to speak to their students about my transplant situation (and of course, spread awareness about organ donation.)  I plan to reach out to a few people today, but if you happen to have a connection to someone who might have an appropriate audience for me, please, let me know.  Feel free to show them the speech below so they can see what I "bring to the table."  You can reassure them that I won't start my speech with a joke from The Simpsons (since nobody in the audience understood it-- I blame Family Guy.)

     The video ends after about seven minutes, but in reality, my speech continued on to go into the details of my transplant experience.  Not realizing I might one day want the whole speech, I told the student who was filming it to stop where she did, because at the time I was only planning to share the video with my wife and a few friends, and they already knew all the ins and outs of how the transplant and recovery process went.  Live and learn...

* The word "geneses" is the plural of "genesis," and was the root used to created the words "genetics" and "genes."  I love etymology, especially when it reveals interesting and meaningful connections.


  1. I love it!!!!!!! Such a great speaker and that was an awesome way to help people understand. Do they literally throw peoples organs away if they are not donated??? And I am still working on my little story for you.

  2. When a person is not a donor (or even if they are and have been pronounced dead anywhere other than a hospital) the organs cannot be donated. :(

    Looking forward to your story! :)