An open letter by Kristi Wisecarver-Ouiment:
On Wednesday morning we are going to the Pittsburg DMV before it opens to the public, so we can talk to all the employees there and share our story of Matthew’s transplant.
It is going to be a very special opportunity for those who do not know us, to hear the story first hand of how we waited for 2 years to find an organ donor that was a match for our little boy. They will hear how we shared our story with all who would listen, in hopes of raising awareness and getting more people to register to become organ and tissue donors.
They will hear how Matthew’s story captured the hearts of many people and had several news articles about his journey and all that we had to overcome. We will explain why we won’t ever stop promoting the importance of organ donation and how there are thousands and thousands of people waiting longer than the 2 years we waited. We understand that while they are working at DMV, they are part of the process in registering people to become organ donors. They have thousands of people come through those doors everyday to get their driver’s license or identification cards and on those cards there is a box they can check saying they want to be a registered organ donor.
Now I understand people have a right to choose and I would never disrespect someone who chooses not to be an organ donor. However, I feel if that choice is because of ignorance on the subject, I want to provide the information they need to make a sound decision.
I want every employee there to understand that this is not simply a box to be checked, but a decision that could impact hundreds of lives. One person has the opportunity to save 8 lives and enhance 75 others. Being a supporter of organ donation and being a registered organ donor are not the same thing. If people support organ donation, they need to register to become a donor and DMV is where the majority of people will go to do that. I don’t want the employees to convince people of doing anything, I want to educate them on why we need donors.
There are thousands of stories out there about organ donation and how incredible it is.
Posting stories is wonderful, but not something people want to read about when standing in line at the DMV. However, we all know that when you are stuck waiting for anything you look around (when your cell phone battery dies) and what catches peoples eye when they look around? Powerful pictures of beautiful children. Well we have that covered and now in EVERY DMV in CALIFORNIA we will have a banner with OUR SON on the wall for all to see. Its the image Mandi Raymond captured 4 years ago of Matthew sitting on a chair with no shirt, exposing all of his tubes and catheters and a sign at his feet saying “Be an organ donor”
I want every DMV employee to know the story behind this picture and to be moved EVERY TIME THEY SEE IT.
That image of our son will be on banners in DMV for all to see. Now I am praying that people will look up from their phones and see that picture and it will move them to check the box to become registered organ donors and that they will talk about it to their families and make it known. I pray that people don’t need to wait years and years and years to receive a second chance at life through organ donation.
We will never stop advocating so long as there is still a need.