For our friend Kristi Wingler, Rest In Peace.
Our friend Kristi Wingler passed away two days ago in Indiana awaiting another chance at life. She was a double lung recipient and had very recently celebrated her 5 year transplant anniversary. But, as fate would have it, her body rejected the lungs some months ago and Kristi was back in the hospital. She was back on the organ list for lungs, apparently at the top, but this time that opportunity didn’t come.
Pat and I met Kristi, along with her cousin Lynn, a liver recipient (also pictured above, far right) on March 29, 2009 in Bloomington, IN. This was the world premiere of our film D TOUR. A lot of emotion was in the air that night as we brought our friend Evan back to his friends and family on screen for an hour or so. Kristi and Lynn were there as volunteers for the Indiana Organ Procurement Organization (IOPO) to help distribute information about organ donation to our audience after the screening. I met them just minutes before I was supposed to go on stage and caught their stories (in a nutshell) about being in and out of hospitals, waiting for their much needed organs, getting another chance to live.
This was the first of many, MANY brief accounts that I’ve heard about after several subsequent D TOUR screenings these past two years. I wish I had the power and the resources to share these with everyone. They are all quite powerful and (naturally) Pat and I can’t endorse becoming organ donors any more than we already do. Unfortunately, Kristi (as far as I know) is the first of folks we’ve made personal contact with who lost her battle with her illness. She was only 29 years old. April is Donate Life awareness month. If you haven’t already, please take the time to sign up and become an organ donor. You can do that here.
Thank You, Kristi! We will keep trying…