ENFIELD, CT - What will be your legacy? What imprint will you leave on the world after you’re gone? This is something many young adults, including Kym Meyers, don’t think much about. However, in the nearly three years since her death, Kym’s story has gone great distances to save lives.
“Kym has been a catalyst for change, helping to make people understand the critical importance of organ donation,” said LifeChoice Public Education Specialist Caitlyn Bernabucci. “There’s no telling how many lives she has saved with her story.”
Back in 2010 while a freshman at Eastern Connecticut State University, Kym was diagnosed with a condition called cirrhosis. It’s an abnormal liver condition in which there is irreversible scarring of the liver. It is a progressive disease that develops slowly over many years, until eventually it halts liver function. During this process, Kym was also told she had celiac disease.
“Upon being diagnosed, she was in the hospital for nine days and had met with several doctors. She was confused as to what was going on, why this was happening to her and what caused it,” said Joann Meyers, Kym’s mother.
In July 2010, Kym became so sick she had to be admitted into the hospital to wait for a liver transplant. However, Kym’s body could only handle so much and she ran out of time. At the age of 19, she died as a result of end stage liver disease and the shortage of organs for transplant.
“This was never supposed to happen - she was supposed to get her new liver and continue school, become a social worker and live a normal life,” said Meyers. “But that was not to be. It is hard losing a child as they are supposed to outlive you.“
Now Kym’s legacy is carried on through the “Kym’s Kause Benefit Motorcycle Ride and Community BBQ” to support eye, tissue and organ donation. The event takes place on Saturday, September 6 in Enfield. The 3-hour motorcycle ride begins at the Moose Lodge located at 124 South Rd. in Enfield at 11 a.m. and returns at 2 p.m. Non-riders are welcome to join the lunch portion starting at 2 p.m. The fee for attendance is $20 which includes a full steak or chicken lunch. The event will include a live band, raffle prizes, a 50/50 raffle and lots of fun for the family including face painting, basketball and vendor tables. To register and learn more, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 860-286-3120; Facebook: Kym’s Kause; kymskause.org
Today, more than 121,000 people are on the national organ transplant waiting list. Largely due to the rarity of donation opportunities, only about 28,000 organs are transplanted each year. As a result, 18 candidates die each day for lack of a donor.
LifeChoice Donor Services, Inc. is the federally designated, non-profit organ procurement organization (OPO) for six counties in Connecticut and three counties in Western Massachusetts with a combined population of 2.3 million people. The OPO serves twenty-three acute care hospitals for organ and tissue donation and two organ transplant hospitals, Hartford Hospital in Hartford, CT and Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, MA.
LifeChoice Donor Services is a member in good standing of the United Network of Organ Sharing (UNOS) and the Association of Organ Procurement Organizations (AOPO). For more information about LifeChoice and to join the Donor Registry, please visitwww.lifechoiceopo.org or call 1.800.874.5215.