How to Save a Life

Bea, Tony & Me in Hawaii
(You'd think I would look happier! HA!)

When Mike and I were first married (and for many years afterwards) he worked with a really great group of guys, the leader of which is a man named Tony Smith.  

There are a million great stories I could tell you about Tony (and his sweet wife, Bea) from those days, but today's story far outweighs any from our past.

4 years ago, Tony became suddenly and gravely ill. Were it not for the compassion of complete strangers, he would not be here today.  It really is that simple.  Here is his story in his own words.

"This journey started over 4 years ago, 3+ years trying to figure out what it was.  Finally I went to MD Anderson and they ruled out everything but Cirrhosis.  There was no cancer at that time. 

I have never been a drinker, no illegal drug use, no tattoos, no hepatitis, . . . they had to name it non-specific cause Cirrhosis.  I ended up at St Luke's.  They  told me in one year or about, it most likely would move from Cirrhosis to Carcinoma of the Liver.  One year to the month, it was diagnosed as cancer. I was accepted on the transplant program, and waiting began . . . going each quarter for bone scans,  blood work, and MRI's.   If the cancer had ever moved from the liver, I would have been out of the program and sent home to make final arrangements.
Thanks to the prayers of everyone I knew, and many I did not, and the love of Jesus Christ, it did not move, (the cancer), and the liver came in time."

Tony underwent an incredible liver transplant that required St. Luke's to use 12 units of blood, another gift of life given to him by the people who donated that blood. 13 strangers gave Tony life.  13 complete strangers.

I think sometimes we take for granted how simple it really is to help save someone's life. 

You can two very simple things.  

1.  Indicate that you will be an organ donor on your driver's license and make sure your family knows your wishes as well, and

2.  Give blood  

I asked Tony what we could do to help him, and he said that he would love to replace the blood that was given to him.  Well, we can't give 12 units of blood ourselves, but I told him I had an awful lot of friends (generous friends) that might want to give the gift of life to someone.  (Don't make me a liar people.)

If you would like to donate, you can go to the blood center at St. Luke's and donate in his name, Anthony G. Smith, 08/14/1952.  Maybe we'll run into you there!

All that to say, it's Give Friday. Would you please do me a very personal favor today and give blood in Tony's name?  And if you do, will you email me at and let me know you did?

Update: I was asked if people could give blood at any St. Luke's.  I'm not sure, so just call them and ask before you go!  

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