Founders of Save A Life Inc. Rosina and Paul Houle
Save-A-Life Inc. was started in 2015 to help educate and inform people about organ donations.
The idea came about because of Rosina’s sister Jessie. Jessie lives in San Antonio, TX and is in need of a second kidney transplant.
In this process, we found out that many people are not aware of living donors programs and how they can become a living donor. Our story began with Jessie. It continues to grow each day as we work hard to get the message out there that you can save a life.
Rosina’s Story Begins
November 2014 changed my life forever! I told my mom several months earlier I would accompany her to visit my sister in San Antonio, TX. My sister Jessie lost her donated kidney after 17 years this April. For the past several years she has had many setbacks because of her anti-rejection medication Celcep, and many close calls with death. Jessie had been in the hospital so many times we began to lose count. To be honest, in the back of my mind I wondered if this would be my last time I would see her alive.
From the time we arrived at the airport, Mom and I experienced a typical day of any airport close to a holiday. Our first leg of the trip was delayed by six long hours. When we finally arrived in Dallas, TX late that evening, we were told we missed our connecting flight to San Antonio and would not be able to leave until morning. By the grace of God, we were on a flight within an hour.
With all the events that took place earlier in the day, my mom’s luggage never made it to San Antonio that evening. Who would call that a blessing? Mom and I first saw Marina, David’s and Jessie’s 10-year-old daughter. We kept looking for Jessie and couldn’t find her. She was sitting in a wheelchair and nothing prepared mom and me for what we were about to see. There sat Jessie, unrecognizable to us. She was so sick looking. The dialysis and kidney disease had taken its toll on her. Her skin was very dark looking, almost black, and she had lost much of her hair. Thank God, we had mom’s missing luggage to deal with so that it prevented us from constantly starring at our beloved sister/daughter. Many months later and many tests later we found out she had blocked arteries in both legs. The doctor said it was caused by dialysis.
I think deep inside of every advocate there stirs anger. I don’t think advocates plan their role as advocates; it just happens, or at least it did for me. I wasn’t ready to let my sister die. Marina needed a mother and David needed a wife, and so my journey begins.
Who would have thought at 51 years of age I would start a business called Save A Life – Inc.? At this point in my life, I was already preparing for retirement down the road. If someone would have made a bet on me, I would have bet against myself.
From day one, Jessie always said, “God has a plan and only he knows what that plan is.”
I am so convinced that even in Jessie’s illness God’s plan is to use her to educate the lives of people she has touched and the lives of those she doesn’t know she is about to touch.
David’s and Jessie’s church family started a Gift of Hope charity. David and Jessie will be the first recipients of this annual event. On June 6, 2015 a fundraiser in Jessie’s honor will be held at Divine Savior Lutheran Church in Devine, TX. The funds raised will be for Jessie to use to reduce the medical expenses she has incurred over the last several years. This will be an annual event for the church to also benefit others thanks to Jessie.
Jessie is the kidney patient, but I am her voice. Save A Life Inc. will always be about Jessie, those thousands of people on the waiting list and those who will be added in the future.
Save A Life – Inc. is dedicated to raise funds and receive donations to educate and raise awareness regarding the benefits of being and having a living donor on a national list using all avenues of social media.
Wouldn’t it be awesome to save a life? Would you donate if you could? After all, who wouldn’t want a piece of you?
Save A Life – Inc.
P.O. Box 3073
Lawrence, KS 66046