Thursday, September 22, 2011

Ask some questions

I’ve always been the kind of person who asks lots of questions. Sometimes I think people avoid me in fear of being asked too many questions. My family often warns others to anticipate Theresa's question and answer series.

Asking questions is a part of my personality, in my DNA. For me, questions provide a verbal connection to my desire to go deeper and discuss something not readily exchanged.

Last Saturday, I rode with the New Prague Chief of Police in the lead cop car of my hometown parade during the annual Dozinky Festival. Afterwards, a few people questioned how that distinct privilege came my way. My answer was simple; I asked him if I could. The truth is I had been asking him for several years, but that’s another story.

There’s a wide range of opportunities lost mainly because we don’t ask enough questions. No doubt, asking questions involves a variety of risks such as rejection, judgment, and exposure. There are times when questions require patience or asking more than once. Yet overall the outcome almost always outweighs any risk or challenge involved. Even if a desired outcome isn’t obtained, the experience of asking lends confidence to the next question waiting to be asked.

My son Michael use to ask lots of questions. He would fire one question after the other, sometimes not waiting for the answers. I remember driving to appointments and he would ask random questions about the unknown people he saw on the street. I guess there is no reason to question who he got that personality trait from.

Asking questions is a key component to good relationships. Whether it’s a personal, professional, or healthcare relationship we need to overcome fear and trepidation in asking questions, especially ones that have never been asked before. You never know when one question might lead to a new discovery or change the definition of your relationship.

Ask yourself, do you want to be the person standing on the sidelines, giving into fear or the person who is bold, asking questions regardless of the risks, ready to Be The Change?

That’s a great question!

Friday, September 9, 2011

New blog design debuts today!

Welcome to my newly revamped personal blog. I know it's been long overdue, however I wanted to be confident that the new look and feel of this site not only reflected the purpose of my writing but also served as a tie to my campaign, Be The Change (BTC).

My personal blog will continue to house my reflections, while the newly enhanced BTC website will serve as the home of things BTC-related. While I am intricately connected to BTC, I want to make the distinction between my role as a speaker and patient family consultant in the healthcare environment and the BTC campaign, which is for everyone.

Thank you for your support as I continue to develop new partnerships, new relationships and new ways for all of us to BTC.

Ways you can stay connected:

Friday, September 2, 2011

Be a hero, be a donor!

Barely thirteen years old, giving a thumbs up in the recovery room, was my son Michael. Just minutes before, he received a gift unlike any other. A healthy kidney donated to him by his “Auntie Mar.” Cemented in memory isn’t only the view of Michael and his raised thumb. It’s also the selfless acts by several who chose to make a difference.

There was standing room only at the University of Minnesota’s surgical waiting room that hopeful day in August 2004. Chairs and couches filled to capacity physically, emotionally and spiritually by family and friends. Each one waiting for the kidney transplant to be done, to hear it was successful and that finally kidney dialysis would be over.

Michael and many warriors fought hard to get to transplant day. Gallantly they shared in failure and success, all which led them to the perfect scenario. Each one anointed with divine purpose in appointed roles important to the process. Two postponed surgical dates and a near death dialysis experience complicated the way but steeled our resolve. Ultimately, one aunt made room for the other, both willing to be kidney donors, both heroes. One enduring the process of donor elimination as the other became Michael’s donor perfect match.

August 30, 2004 was definitely a thumbs-up day. We got the news we anxiously waited to hear. The kidney transplant was a complete success. Seven years later, job well done still echoes in the spirit of the gifts exchanged. Not only on that special day but in the days that preceded and followed. Heroic examples of ordinary people willing to Be The Change in extraordinary ways that gave all of us a gift.

According to Life Source, a non-profit organization located in St Paul Minnesota, nearly 109,000 people are waiting for organ donation and the number grows each day. Registering to be a donor is easy and can be done right now, online. Your decision to be a donor can potentially save up to sixty lives. You can give a gift.

Leave a legacy similar to Michael and his two aunts. You can be the hero someone is waiting for. You can Be The Change!

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns about organ donation.