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Old 05-04-2012, 02:49 PM
9,209 posts, read 18,043,938 times
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I'm not a huge fan of the Oprah network, but I was riveted by a documentary they are showing called 65 Red Roses which follows the life of a beautiful and inspiring 23 year old young woman named Eva who is dying of cystic fibrosis and awaiting a double-lung transplant. She keeps an online journal and connects with other young women online who have CF. I watched it, then when it was over and they replayed it, I watched it again!

I don't want to give away any spoilers, but here is what I took away from it:
  • You WILL cry if you watch this--both happy and sad tears. If you don't, there's something seriously wrong with you.
  • You'll be so grateful for being able to take a deep breath. I didn't realize how much I took that for granted, and I'll really try to remind myself that I'm fortunate to even be able to breathe deeply, when I get overwhelmed with all of life's stresses.
  • More people need to learn about organ transplantation and sign up to become donors. I really think that if you are not a donor already, watching this film will make you want to be one, if you should die in a sudden accident.
  • I can't even imagine what it must be like, living with a pager that could go off at any time, letting you know someone has crashed their car, and now you can get life-saving organs.
  • I had no idea that organ rejection can go on & on and become chronic. I guess I just thought that people get new organs, take meds for a while, and are then completely healthy. That's so wrong.
  • Families of people awaiting organs have to deal with all the conflicting feelings of wishing that some young healthy person out there will crash their car into a tree, the guilt about feeling that way, and the gratitude to donors and their families. The parents actually admit that they look forward to May & June, graduation season, when their loved one is most likely to get a needed organ. Just imagine being in that position!
  • People living with this disease (and with all terminal or serious illnesses, I'd imagine) vary in how well they take care of themselves, what their support systems are like, and in their views of wanting to live vs. die. I guess I was naive in thinking "if someone has a deadly illness, they'll of course do whatever they can to be healthy." It was heartbreaking to see Eva's friend, who also has CF, not taking her meds, and abusing drugs and cigarettes, not caring about the consequences. She also really didn't have people in her life who cared about her, unlike Eva.
I think when I was a kid in the 70s and a teen in the 80s, all I knew about CF was that kids who had it couldn't really breathe, they had to get slapped on the back every day, they probably died before adulthood, and it was nice to donate money to help one day cure it. We all saw "Alex: the Life of a Child," the movie starring Craig T Nelson, about a little girl who died of CF, back in the 80s when it was on HBO nearly every day. Now people with CF live into adulthood, but often their lungs are so damaged by then, they must have a transplant or die. And even with a transplant, they still often die.

Anyway, I had to share this, especially for those out there living with CF or a loved one who has it, and for those on any side of the organ donation process. I don't know anyone with cystic fibrosis, but this film really touched me, so I'm sure it had a similar effect on others. I really pray that Eva's story can help others.


65 Red Roses

Here's info on organ donation:
organdonor.gov | Welcome to organdonor.gov

Organ Donation | donatelife.net


CORE - Center for Organ Recovery & Education
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