I am standing here before you as living proof that miracles do happen. But, of course, my miracle, like many others here today, came down to a family’s generous and brave decision.
Helena Lau spoke at the 2010 Thanksgiving Service. She described how she had just turned 16 years old when she became seriously sick and had to be admitted into hospital. ”As a 16-year-old you don’t think beyond having a boyfriend, buying clothes and planning the next outing with your mates,” she said.
”Not only have I grown tremendously from my journey, I hope to share my knowlege and story with those brave enough to ask ’I don’t get it, why can’t you drink’ or ’Wow what’s that scar from’. I do not feel ashamed of what my body looks like. The scars remind me of how blessed I am. I do not feel ashamed of the pain I went through. It has only made me stronger. I do not feel ashamed. I am proud, living and very, very thankful.”
Having never been stung by a bee, had a tooth removed or broken any bones, being thrust into a situation where she could have easily lost her life was a huge shock for Helena, her family and friends.
”In a time of utter devastation and worry, a family somewhere in our sibling country Australia, made a selfless and brave decision that would inevitably give me life again. I’m incredibly thankful to them and feel blessed to say that I am a recipient of the ultimate gift – a donor liver.”
”For the many families here today who have lost loved ones and are part of this cause, you are exceptional. The courage you had to make these incomparable decisions means that people like me get to have a future. I can now look forward to finishing my degree, seeing my friends, fall in love, have children and hopefully have the priviledge of growing old.”
”Not only has this gift given me new life, but also very importantly, it has given me perspective. Perspective is not something we can just acquire. Sometimes it takes something phenomenal to change us in some way. I try not to take things for granted and tend to look at the bigger picture. I guess many of you here will be able to relate to this. Time is precious and we must care for each other. Without my family and friends I wouldn’t have stood a chance.”
Helena is 19 now, three years post transplant. While she is able to remember the events surrounding her transplant like it was yesterday, she has crammed a lot into the past three years. Helena graduated high school as deputy head girl, has had two birthdays, travelled to Hong Kong, Macau and China, gained her drivers licence and is now studying a bachelor of graphic design at AUT university. A challenge she is loving every minute of.
Helena thanked her Mum and friends for helping her through the difficult time she faced in recovery, and the doctors, co-ordinators, councillors and nurses who looked after her so well. ”You are astounding and super stars and for me personally, have made my journey a much more enjoyable one.”
Helena finished her talk with a quote from Marianne Willamson. ”This quote reminds me of the powerful impact we can all have on each other. It gives me a sense of belonging and reminds me of all the potential we have inside of us. And last, but certainly not least, how grateful I am to have God in my life and the daily support, guidance and strength that He gives me.
”Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? Your playing small does not serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we’re liberate from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
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