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Commemorating National Donate Life Month: Flag Raising Ceremony Honors Organ Donors

WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) – A flag-raising ceremony in Wichita Falls marked the beginning of National Donate Life Month, celebrating the kindness and influence of organ donation. This event, held on Friday, was more than symbolic; it was a sincere tribute to the profound impact organ donors have on recipients and their families.

Parents of organ donors and recipients attended the ceremony, sharing stories that vividly portrayed the transformative power of donation. Emotions ran high as Vicky Blair, the mother of Shon Blair, remembered her son’s choice to become an organ donor.

Vicky recalled, “Shon often said YOLO, which stands for ‘You Only Live Once.’ We modified it to ‘You Obviously Live On.’”

At the age of 16, Shon Blair made the decision to be an organ donor when he obtained his driver’s license. Vicky reminisced about the moment Shon approached her about it, saying, “My son decided to be an organ donor when he got his driver’s license at 16, but he asked me first. He inquired, ‘What does that mean?’ I explained, ‘Well, if something happens to you and you pass away, your organs can be donated to help someone else.’ To which he responded, ‘Well, if I’m no longer here, I won’t need them.’”

Tragically, Shon passed away in 2014 in Wichita Falls, just a month before his 18th birthday. However, his choice to be an organ donor provided a new chance at life for seven individuals.

Vicky shared, “Seven families had more time with their loved ones, and Shon inspired many individuals in Archer City, where we resided, to register as organ donors.”

Despite the pain of losing her son, Vicky finds solace in knowing that a part of Shon lives on.

“It’s a mix of pride, joy, and sorrow. But I genuinely believe that God entrusted me with Shon so that others could live,” she expressed.

Bonnie Bolin’s story echoes Vicky’s journey. Her three-year-old son, Raylan, born with a genetic heart condition, faced heart failure, requiring a heart transplant for survival.

Bonnie tearfully recounted, “He was fading in my arms, and we thought it was the end. We believed we would lose him that day, and his story would conclude. There were moments when we lost hope, unsure if he would ever leave the hospital. It was the most challenging three months of our lives. But he persevered and was given a second chance.”

Inspired by the profound impact of organ donation on her family, Bonnie shifted her career focus to advocate for organ donation.

“We are immensely grateful that another family agreed to donate, and I am deeply passionate about organ donation. I switched careers to give back to those families who gave us so much,” Bonnie shared gratefully.

The waving flag symbolized the lives saved and the hope restored through the selfless act of organ donation. While National Donate Life Month only spans April, its message of kindness and gratitude resonates throughout the year, urging more people to embrace this life-saving gift.

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