What Saved Two Strangers (Part III)


Nine months since I’d written the recipient, and still no word from her.

At first, I was worried. I even called Donor Alliance, afraid she’d fallen ill again or died, but they assured me she was well. Then I fumed. How hard was it to write back? Could this woman really be so unfeeling?

I still checked the mail as soon as I got home from work, but now I was more resigned than angry. Maybe there was a reason I hadn’t heard back. Maybe God would show me another way to make the end of Jill’s life matter as much as the rest of it had.

One evening I tossed the mail on the kitchen table. Just the usual bills and catalogs. But as they scattered, a flyer caught my eye: “Donor Dash 2004. A 5K run/walk honoring the lives of organ donors and recipients.” Why not?

The Donor Dash was on a perfect summer day. With two friends, I walked the route around Washington Park, on Denver’s south side.

There were a few hundred people—some ran, some walked, some had dogs or kids in strollers with them. All of them, in some way, had gone through what I had. Maybe it was that sense of community, but for the first time since Jill’s death, I found myself laughing.

“That was fun,” I heard myself saying as we crossed the finish line. I noticed a number of people did the Dash in teams, wearing T-shirts with photos of donors. Next year I’ll do that, I thought. Round up some more friends and put Jill’s picture on our shirts.