Lauren Lupher was born with a pediatric neurotransmitter disorder. After battling the disease for thirteen years, she passed away in 2007.
“This music box is how I put Lauren to sleep every night,” said Lauren’s mother Linda Lupher. “One day after she passed away, I tried to play it, but it wouldn’t play. It was just so worn out so I never tried it again. But when Susan came over the first time, I showed her Lauren’s room. Susan turned on the music box, and it played perfectly.”
Susan Hernandez, who suffered from a life-altering kidney disease, is the recipient of one of Lauren’s kidneys. The music box which still plays today is no doubt symbolic of the new life Lauren gave to Hernandez. Lauren’s parents say organ donation wasn’t even a question. It was just the right thing for them to do.
“This gave us something positive out of the death of a child,” said Linda. “I can’t imagine not having that, because then the death would just feel like a death.”
Thanks to organ donation, Hernandez, who was once dependent on dialysis, says her quality of life is now one hundred and ten percent.
“It’s fabulous,” said Hernandez. “I try to live life to the fullest. I do things that I never used to do before. I feel like a teenager all over again. I don’t know if it’s a good thing or bad thing.”
Linda now dedicates much of her time to the organ procurement agency LifeGift. She says it’s a way to honor her daughter, while helping to educate Texans on the importance of registering to become an organ donor. There are two ways to become an organ donor. You can register online at donatelifetexas.org. Or you can register while getting or renewing your driver’s license. The questions are basic and the process takes just a few minutes.
“Here in Texas there are almost eleven thousand waiting for some type of transplant,” said Managing Director of LifeGift Ron Ehrle. “Here in Fort Worth there are about one thousand and four hundred individuals waiting for a transplant.”
One donor has the potential to save eight lives. Lauren was able to donate both kidneys and her heart valves. It’s a gift that has special meaning not only to Hernandez, but to the Lupher’s as well.
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