It was a picture perfect New England weekend, great weather for a parade and a little hike up a mountain.
Our first official volunteer gig for the New England Organ Bank was to march in the Londonderry Old Home Day parade. Old Home Day Parades are a long standing tradition in New England and they have a sweet little town feel. The only drawback is that we’re in the midst of an election cycle here, so alongside marching bands, the Oscar Meyer Wiener Mobile and juggling unicyclists were politicians mugging for photo ops and attempting to be one of the crowd. It’s funny to experience their vastly different stumping skills. I won’t name names, but one politician chose to be humble and thankful for the work that the New England Organ Bank does, and even shared a story all of the volunteers could relate to: a friend waiting for the call from the doctors to say an organ was ready. Another politician decided to brag about completing a 5K, and then joked about how a few more organs could have helped make the task easier. The same politician continued the conversation by bragging about how they had helped several people receive organs. Derek and I were curious just how they managed to make that happen. Still another listened intently as I lobbied for the state to consider converting to an opt-out program for organ donation. Allowing people who aren’t willing to be organ donors to opt-out and signing everyone else up automatically. “Well that’s an interesting solution. I’ll have to think about that.” Little did I know that I would have the chance to bend a few ears, but I jumped at the opportunity. Take note politicians, you may have planned talking points for hobnobbing with the masses, but if you approach me, I will attempt to filibuster the conversation.
As we marched down the road, many people stood up and applauded us. Derek overheard people in the crowd say, “Why wouldn’t you donate your organs?” Why not, indeed. They also saluted the gentleman riding in the car, a 9 year liver transplant survivor, and thanked him for his service to our country. He contracted Hepatitis C while he was in the service. After a liver transplant and years of taking drugs with terrible side effects, he’s now cured of the disease, thanks to some amazing new drugs on the market. It gives us all hope that someday scientists will be able to cure more diseases, and we won’t have to rely so heavily on organ transplantation in the future.
Here are some photos from the day, click on an individual photo to launch a slideshow, and a link to the full set.
On Sunday we hiked Mt. Major. We typically get up early to hike, but we took our time getting to the trail head and experienced a crowded parking lot for the first time ever! [<—-Hyperbole.] It wasn’t too mobbed at the summit, and really, who could blame the other hikers? It was a glorious day to be on top of a mountain.