Giving Tuesday 2023:
The Transplant Unwrapped Community
We are grateful for and rely on your donations!
Zac had been coming to Transplant Unwrapped Support Groups to not only get encouragement but offer it as well while he was waiting for his multivisceral transplant. As it happened, the very day he received the call that organs were available for him, there was a Support Group meeting. Zac joined the meeting while in the hospital waiting for his transplant surgery. Members of the Transplant Unwrapped Community provided him emotional support and cheered him on.
"The community at Transplant Unwrapped has helped me so much with the fear. The knowledge and strength you have given me is like nothing else I have found.I will forever be grateful."
Owen is a little warrior who waited for just under 2 years to receive his multivisceral transplant. He has received his transplant and continues to live his life to the fullest he can with his entire family!
When I first found TU I thought it was just another support group - just another page on Facebook. I began my journey by initially becoming a TU Ambassador, hoping to help others in my situation. What I soon found in the TU community was something so much more, so much deeper.
What I found was a lot of people a lot like me, and few places in this world do we find connection like that. I have found people that understand me on a deep level and I have forged friendships that are so special that we go to each others homes for birthdays (and this is across state lines).
My gift to a close friend forged through support group this year was to tell her that I would come to her home and cook for her this year (I love cooking, she doesn’t). So what a joy it was to be able to travel with my husband to her home, cook for her and her family and enjoy a meal with them.
All of that was made possible by an isolated small bowel transplant that had happened and one that will hopefully happen soon, brought together by a support group over zoom. And I’m forever grateful that the world is small enough for that to happen - my life is fuller for it.
With the community of TU, I have incredible friends that are like family. I don't have to feel like I am not understood or a "rare case".
I know I can count on TU to support me through my highs of highs and lows of lows.
Helio and Gwen
Helio is waiting for his second intestinal transplant. The journey has been long and difficult. Helio is so thankful for the support of the Transplant Unwrapped Community that has validated his experiences and empowered him to speak with his care team about varying symptoms and concerns he may not have always felt comfortable bringing up.
“With my very rare health issues, meeting other individuals with similar stories has made me feel not as isolated or uneasy. I have met the most wonderful people on Transplant Unwrapped!”
Gwen is a caregiver and spouse to a patient who is awaiting an intestinal transplant. Through the Transplant Unwrapped Community Gwen has not only found connections with many great people, she has also found many invaluable solutions to help make her and her family’s life so much easier.
Gwen tells others, “Surgeons do the big important things to keep you alive, but other patients teach you the little important things to live your day to day life better!”
Ben is an isolated bowel transplant recipient. Ben was around during the beginnings of Transplant Unwrapped, yet was never at the heart of it. When he became a little more involved it ended up helping him in unexpected ways.
“The biggest for me was the ability it gave me to help others in similar situations. A lot of the time when we help other people our own burdens become lighter. I am super fortunate and blessed in my own scenario, and to give people hope is one of the great things that Transplant Unwrapped has helped me to be able to do.”
All of my life, I have been told I am a rare case, never seen before, and it was expected that my life would be drastically different from other people’s. I often felt hopeless and alone. I remember very vividly the first time I met someone else with the same diagnosis as me. It was an instant and deep connection. Through that relationship, I found strength, solace, and a deep sense of belonging. I found resilience in knowing that I am not alone. And while my life is far from ‘normal’ there are others who are or have experienced the same triumphs and setbacks I experience.
Being part of Transplant Unwrapped gives me the opportunity to be the first person someone meets with their diagnosis and to serve the community that in turn supports me. The Transplant Unwrapped Community fills my soul and enriches my life bringing meaning to all of the health challenges I have and will continue to face.