Each year, Lifeline of Ohio and the Genesis-Good Samaritan Hospital team up to host their annual event, "Hope for the Holidays." Hope for the Holidays is a special event where organ and tissue donor families and recipients can find help and hope for the holiday season after losing a loved one.
"it’s a time, its an informal time to come in and we invite the donor families to make an ornament to represent a loved one that they’ve lost and we’ll place that then on a tree that will be place in the health plex then. So, that is a way to honor the loved one who they’ve lost, but it also creates an awareness about organ tissue and eye donation and how valuable that can be."
Right now, there are over 123,000 people waiting for a lifesaving organ and sadly, 18 of them will die each day while waiting for a donation.
Donating organs not only helps to save lives, but it also helps families to cope with the loss of their loved ones, in that something good can come out of their tragic loss.
Connie Sivard lost her fiance in 2009 who was desperately in need of a new organ. She attended tonight’s event to help other families cope with the loss of their loved ones during this crucial time of year.
"I say, don’t push yourself. Don’t force yourself to do anything, just kind of take it, it’s just another day. In the beginning, you may not even be able to do. My second Christmas after I lost Tom, I didn’t even get out of bed, I stayed in bed all day. But I find, I try to do things to help other people, try to do volunteer stuff. That helps me, if I know I help somebody else."
Tonight’s event also included a special speaker from the director of spiritual care, Vicki Kumorowski, who talked about grief and different coping mechanisms. For WHIZ News, I’m Dana Zimmer.