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BS: Organ Donations and the Olympics....

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Amergin 16 Feb 02 - 01:49 AM
Melani 16 Feb 02 - 03:40 AM
Barry Finn 16 Feb 02 - 09:04 AM
katlaughing 16 Feb 02 - 02:06 PM
Clinton Hammond 16 Feb 02 - 02:11 PM

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Subject: Organ Donations and the Olympics....
From: Amergin
Date: 16 Feb 02 - 01:49 AM

I got the following article from the Spokesman Review the Spokane, WA paper...and thought it kind of neat.....

Friday, February 15, 2002


Thanks to donated liver, Olympic dream lives on Slain boy's mother hopes story will encourage more organ donors

Erica Curless - Staff writer

Coeur d'Alene _

Leisa Flood never dreamed her son Billy would shred snow at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games.

Snowboards were too expensive. Flood worked two jobs just to keep her son clothed. Then the blond 13-year-old boy was murdered by a neighborhood pal, shot in the left eye, in July 2000 while sitting in a chair at his grandmother's Westminster, Colo., trailer.

Billy the Kid, as his mother called him, was dead.

But Thursday, Billy's donated liver helped America's top snowboarder snatch 11th in the parallel giant slalom qualifying round.

Flood howled with joy as she learned the news about Chris Klug's run.

"Goosebumps are going down my legs," said Flood, who lives in Coeur d'Alene and visits her son's Mullan grave every weekend.

Tubes and machines kept Billy Flood's organs alive while his father and sisters drove from California.

It upset Flood that nurses kept asking about organ donations. But then it hit her.

"I thought someone else was sitting in a room just like this in this pain," Flood said. "It's what Billy would have wanted. He was a loving kid."

So the family agreed to give life to others, including Chris Klug.

The Bend, Ore., snowboarder suffered from primary sclerosing cholangitis, a rare degenerative bile duct condition that killed football player Walter Payton.

"That's a pretty amazing thing to go though, knowing that somebody else pretty much gave the gift of life," Klug wrote on his Web site. "To go back out on the World Cup circuit and win races and have fun and to be able to have a second chance, you know, I am very, very lucky."

Just four months after the July 2000 transplant, Klug was back on the World Cup road.

Flood feels grateful that Billy is living on. She encourages people to become organ donors today, before loved ones have to make that choice.

"Please reach beyond yourself and give the gift," she said. "Carry a donor card."

Flood has struggled since Billy's murder. She got back together with husband Rob, but then left again. She moved to Coeur d'Alene to be near her family in the Silver Valley and Billy's grave.

She enrolled in an iron working apprentice program so she could build bridges -- Billy's dream. Flood said she suffers from severe post traumatic stress syndrome and sees a counselor regularly.

She didn't even know Klug had made it to the Olympics until a Los Angeles Times reporter called her this month. It's all she can do to get up in the morning much less follow Klug's tremendous career.

She got a thank-you letter from Klug, but has yet to meet the boarder who spent time training in Sun Valley.

"It just takes so much to deal with it," she said. "Everything opens the wound."

But now she's watching. Setting up VCRs to tape every snowboarding competition in hopes of capturing Klug's runs.

"Billy always wanted to learn how to snowboard," Flood said. "He wanted a snowboard and the Oakley glasses but we never had the money."

Now Billy lives on within an Olympic athlete.

"All I ask is for people to talk about donation," Flood said. "To give a life."

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Subject: RE: BS: Organ Donations and the Olympics....
From: Melani
Date: 16 Feb 02 - 03:40 AM

Thanks for posting it.

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Subject: RE: BS: Organ Donations and the Olympics....
From: Barry Finn
Date: 16 Feb 02 - 09:04 AM

There are at least 2 of us here that are alive because of donors. There are no words that can describe the ordeal of coming back into the world of the living with the aid of someone who's gone the other way. Barry

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Subject: RE: BS: Organ Donations and the Olympics....
From: katlaughing
Date: 16 Feb 02 - 02:06 PM

Thanks, Nathan. Thanks too, to you, Barry, sure am glad you ARE here and my driver's license makes it clear I am a donor.


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Subject: RE: BS: Organ Donations and the Olympics....
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 16 Feb 02 - 02:11 PM

Organ donation should NOT be a choice...

IT should be a law!

There are 2 or 3 people in my life who I'd have to miss an awful lot were it not for the gracious people who donated organs... and my best friend and soul brother would be blind in his left eye if not for a mother who lost a boy about Pete's age one day...

If any of my organs are still of use when I'm done with them, take 'em, please...

And sign your Organ donor card, and go one better... make sure your power-of-attorney KNOWS you want to donate...

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