Amy Tippins spends every waking moment thinking about or doing something about organ donation, helping other people and spreading joy. She is the creative genius behind “Rock Scar Love” which celebrates the scars we accumulate through life. She views these scars as badges of honor and encourages everyone she meets to view them the same way. Today’s blog is written by Amy with my encouragement and support. Please heed her words and help out. Bob Aronson
My senior year of high school was supposed to be spent figuring out which college was going to offer me the best swimming scholarship. My emotions were supposed to be spent on fighting my mother and trying to earn my independence.
Instead of negotiating how to pay for the next four years of college I was negotiating with God on if I was going to live through them. For five years, I had been in liver failure due to approximately two dozen tumors that had been slowly killing me. I was not fighting with my mother (okay, maybe a little), but my own body. As a teenager, I was fully aware of my own mortality.
As I reflect on the holiday season that has just passed I am reminded, as I am every year, that I was told I needed a life-saving liver transplant during the week of Christmas 1992. For the following two months I wondered if I would get my second chance and what it would look like? 1992 was before you could Google “liver transplant” on the web and most likely, it was before Al Gore invented the internet. When I was evaluated for my liver transplant it was during a time that the long term success of organ donation was still unknown, but the need of for organs was not so desperate. As my transplant doctor said, “We had more livers than recipients”. What I did not know was how much my life was going to change in so many amazing ways because of organ donation and how through it I would find my purpose.
Two years ago, I decided to “pay it forward” for what I was given. Therefore, I started RockScar Love Designs (www.rockscarlove.com) a company that celebrates scars. We celebrate beautiful scars and the lessons they teach us. Through my scar, I have come to understand who I am and why I am worthy of celebration and love. Through my scar, I have come to love who I am and realize that transplantation was my path to opening up my heart to a love beyond my imagination…love for myself!
Starting soon, in late March, RockScar Love Designs and Live Wright Society, a non profit promoting people and causes paying it forward (www.livewrightsociety.org), will be sponsoring the “Scars R Sexy” campaign. We will be sharing over 20,000 scar stories across the US. This is not about a physical scar or one particular type of scar, but about all scars and the people who bear them from all walks of life as they embrace their journey and realize that their story is one to be proud of; that scars are something to be embraced as beautiful and that we should all rise up to say “I love my scar because it means I have won — because I have championed what has tried to defeat me! I am amazing and beautiful for all that I have been through”.
In order to make this campaign successful, RSL and LWS need each and every person that reads this to share our campaign and what it means to you by going to our Facebook page and becoming a fan as well as sharing the page: http://tinyurl.com/7pz5t8w Scars R Sexy) If you believe in anyone who has a scar of a physical, emotional or psychological sort, we ask you to be a part of this campaign by sharing it with everyone you know. Without your support, our scars will remain hidden!
You can find RockScar Love Products at www.rockscarlove.com . We offer t-shirts, baseball caps and multiple other items with a scar theme. 15-20% of all sales go back to charity with a focus on transplant and pediatric based charities! I also dedicate large portions of my time to mentoring transplant patients, speaking at charity events, serving on board of NKF GA/AL and raising money for Camp Independence.
You may comment in the space provided or email your thoughts to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. And – please spread the word about the immediate need for more organ donors. There is nothing you can do that is of greater importance. If you convince one person to be an organ and tissue donor you may save or positively affect over 60 lives. Some of those lives may be people you know and love.
Please view our new video “Thank You From the Bottom of my Donor’s heart” on www.organti.org This video was produced to promote organ donation so it is free and no permission is needed for its use.
Also…there is more information on this blog site about other donation/transplantation issues. When you leave this site go to our Facebook group, Organ Transplant Initiative and join. The more members we get the greater our clout with decision makers.