Organ donation is still a taboo topic despite the increasing number of life saving transplants. There are numerous myths and misconceptions surrounding donation, one of the biggest being that only people who have abused their bodies require transplants.
I worked at organ procurement organizations in Philadelphia and Las Vegas. I met several donor families and transplant recipients. The biggest gift was meeting the children who had received transplants. The children I met ranged in age from 5 years old to 18. To see them, you would never have known they were on the verge of death, and had been given a second chance at life. To talk with them was unlike anything you would ever experience. Imagine speaking with a 7 year old who could explain to you that he was grateful to have received a kidney that saved his life, but was sad because he knew he would never be able to meet his donor to say “Thank you!”.
After having these experiences and explaining my job to others, I realized that many people needed the facts about donation. What most people thought were facts, were really stereotypes or ideas. A Difficult Thank You deals with a family dividing over such stereotypes.
Becky is an overbearing mother who can’t come to terms with her daughter, Blaire’s passing. To make matters worse, she finds out that her daughter signed up to be an organ donor prior to her death. While Becky finds this discovery heartbreaking; Michael, Becky’s husband, is proud of his daughter’s selfless act to register as an organ donor in order to save the lives of others. Michael’s influence spills over to the younger daughters, causing Becky to feel like an outsider in her own home.
I am telling this story because I have hands on experience with donor families and recipients. This is a film that the whole family can watch together and use to spark conversations about donation and what it means to them.
- (28 days)