Sunday, April 28, 2013

Lights, Camera, Action Part 2

Success!  With the help of Charles and Donnie (my IT guy) I finally uploaded the video of my appearance on Atlanta TV Channel 57.  If you are interested in seeing me talk about my book, go to the Interviews tab above and click the arrow on the video box.

The next few weeks will be busy for these Two Late Bloomers. Both of us will speak at a church in Chatom, Alabama. I will talk to the ladies about my book and Charles will speak to a men's breakfast about his interest in missions and ministry.Then I will meet my sister and we will celebrate our 15th transplant anniversaries. Charles will travel for another wind tunnel test to wind up the month. June will be equally challenging. The good thing is that I will have plenty to share with all of you in future blogs.  Until then .......

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Lights, Camera, Action

My recent appearance on Atlanta TV Channel 57 to talk about my book, Born Three Times, was a unique experience.  The interstate traffic pileups on the way to the TV station did little to calm my anxiety level.  Fortunately, we left early so I had time to go over my previous interviews to prepare myself for the questions I would be asked.
The other guests on the two hour program arrived and were introduced.  One of the guests was an actor who played Officer Randy Goode on the TV series “In the Heat of the Night” with Carroll O’Connor. He was there to sing and talk about his latest project.

We all gathered around a conference table with our program hosts to go over the schedule for the Atlanta Live broadcast. I asked how long my interview was going to last. The host replied that my time on the air was going to be 15 minutes and it would not be an interview. Instead, I was expected to just tell my story and talk about my book for the whole time. My brain went into overdrive and my mouth felt like cotton. Where would I start and what would I talk about for that long? 
We were ushered into the TV studio—a very cavernous black box with lots of cameras, sound equipment, bright lights, and the set. I nervously waited while the musicians played, and another guest talked about her book and story. I watched the clock tick toward 8:00 PM. The producer came to escort me to the set and pinned the “Mike” on my jacket collar. I wasn’t prepared for the very bright lights that focused on me. I prayed I wouldn’t appear as nervous as I felt when I opened my mouth and let the words flow. It was surprising that the time flew so quickly and I was still going strong when the host said, we only had four minutes left. The host made some final comments and it was over. My legs felt like Jell-O as I headed back to where Charles was waiting, convinced I had made a very poor showing. 

The segment was replayed the next morning on the same TV Channel and I got to watch my performance. It wasn’t as bad as I thought. It isn’t often that we get an opportunity to completely step out of our comfort zone and do something unique. Stay open to the possibilities God might put in your path to tell your story. Keep smiling-you never know who might be watching and listening.
So far I have been unsuccessful in uploading the video of my interview to my blog. When I figure it out, I will post it for your critique.


Monday, April 1, 2013

A Gift of Life

Today is April Fools’ Day, but my blog is not a joke. April 1 also begins National Organ Donor Awareness Month. How fitting when all of nature comes to life in the spring, that we think about giving the gift of life. A butterfly has been chosen as a symbol to represent that life-giving opportunity. The statistics are staggering and change minute by minute. There are approximately 113,000 people on the United Network for Organ Sharing waiting list. While 75 people each day receive a transplant, around 19 people die each day because of the organ shortage. 
Depending on the type of transplant, over 50-75% of recipients survive more than five years. My sister, Audrey, and I received our liver transplants almost fifteen years ago next month, and I have a friend getting close to a twenty-five year survival rate. 
Since the focus of my blog is on discarding the stereotypes of senior adults, here are some interesting statistics for seniors:
·        According to the 2005 National Survey of Organ and Tissue Donation Attitudes and Behaviors, conducted by The Gallup Organization, roughly 20 percent of people over the age of 65 mistakenly think they are too old to donate an organ, while nearly 12 percent believe they are too old to receive one.
·         Your age doesn’t make you ineligible to sign up; nor do you have to be in perfect health. Each person’s ability to donate is determined at the time of his or her death. People of all ages — in their 50s, 60s, even into their 80s and older — can sign up to be donors. And people over 50 can be eligible to receive transplants as well.
·         According to the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network, as of January 2010, there are 47,734 people between the ages of 50 and 64 and 17,689 people over the age of 65 on the national waiting list.
·         More than 94 million individuals in the U.S. are 50 years of age and older. Imagine how many more lives could be saved if the majority of people in this age group signed up to be organ donors.
Donate Life America is the official site to register as an organ, eye, or tissue donor.  Here is a link to their website:
I will always be thankful for a family, who in the midst of their grief over the loss of their daughter, made the decision to make life possible for me and four other people. One of my favorite sayings about transplantation is: “Don’t take your organs to heaven; heaven knows we need them here.”