On a spring day in 1997, Marlene Montgomery's son, Steve Haugen, 36, was the victim of a fatal crime. At the hospital, doctors found a donor card in his wallet and approached Marlene about donating her son's organs.
"It wasn't a hard decision at all," Marlene said. "Steve and I always donated blood at the Red Cross together, and we'd both picked up our donor cards there."
Not far off, a perfect stranger, Sharol Lucey, received a call; a match had been found. She would be receiving a new heart that day. Sharol knew nothing about the young man who had just died and whose heart would soon save her life.
One year after the transplant, Sharol and Marlene sought to meet each other. In an ironic twist of fate, the two found they lived just two miles apart. Their first meeting was emotional, but they are the closest of friends; even belonging to the same bunco group and attending one another's family functions. Together, they tell their touching story of life and death through Donate Life Northwest's Speakers Bureau.
"It's an honor for me to introduce her as my donor's mother," Sharol said. "It's a part of our relationship; not necessarily the whole basis of our friendship, but it's a huge part. We're more like family."
Donate Life Northwest urges people to designate themselves as a donor. Code your driver's license as donor, sign up on line at donatelifenw.org, or call 503.494.7888 or 1.800.452.1369 for a paper registry form. Please... share your decision with your family!