National Eye Donor Month
March is national eye donor month. It’s a good time to consider becoming an organ donor.
According to www.OrganDonor.gov there are more than 100,000 people wait for an organ right now.
It's definitely life changing for families who receive an organ but it's also life changing for families on the giving end.
Caddo firefighter Gene Williams could have become a statistic but an organ donor saved his life.
Local resident Sherry Sellers' daughter, Brande, couldn't be saved after an accident but she was able to give the gift of life to others.
They have two completely different stories but share a common bond.
"Brande was a nursing student and she was 19 years old,” said Sherry Sellers. “Her boyfriend accidentally backed out in front of a truck in a rainstorm and the truck didn't have the lights on so they didn't see it coming."
Sellers remembers the day her daughter passed away.
"It's hard to go in my kitchen and see the table where we had blueberry pancakes the day she had her accident," she said.
Brande wanted to be a nurse and although she didn't get to fulfill those dreams she did get to do what nurses do. She helped people.
"Her goal was to help save lives and that's exactly what she ended up doing," said Sellers.
As an organ donor her heart, liver, kidneys, pancreas and corneas all went to people in need.
"She has done more in death than I will ever do in life," said Sellers.
Firefighter Gene Williams almost lost his life after doctors diagnosed him with Hepatitis A nine years ago.
"My family and my wife and sister and stuff had kind of made a plea if he doesn't have a transplant in the next two days, he's not going to make it," said Williams.
However, Battalion Fire Chief Williams was lucky enough to receive a life-saving gift: a new liver.
It was something he never imagined he would ever need.
"I felt like I was in pretty good shape, real good shape, bullet proof, that kind of deal,” he said. “But it just goes to show something like that can take you right out."
Now, Williams and Sellers hope others make the choice to be organ donors as well.
"What better can you do for somebody else than save their life?" said Williams.
"You can't take your organs with you, you know? We need them here," said Sellers.
Becoming a donor is easy.
It's indicated on your driver's license with a little heart.
Statistics show about 18 people die each day in the United States waiting for an organ and one organ donor can save up to eight lives.
Copyright 2013 KTBS. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.