Friday, 1 January 2010

Sheldon's Gift

When Sheldon was near the end of his life it was very important to him that he be able to donate his organs.

Of course with cancer that was not to be. That made Sheldon sad as he wanted to be able to help others that were here. Sheldon knew that he had no more use for his body and hoped that someone else’s life could be made better.

Sheldon did not know that he would be able to help others when he died. But he did, as a matter of fact he helped two others and all of the people those two others touch.

When I was talking to the people at the organ bank after Sheldon had died and they said because he had cancer it would not be possible to use his organs. I let Jacquie know and she told me to get back in touch with them and see if they could use his eyes.

I called them back and they called Gil back. They could and they did.

Sheldon, our very own God, gave the gift of vision to two other people. Because of Sheldon two other people can do more than just see light.

The cornea is the transparent front part of the eye that covers the iris, pupil, and anterior chamber. Together with the lens the cornea refracts light accounting for approximately two-thirds of the eye’s total optical power and contributes most of the eye’s focusing power.

There are organizations located throughout the world to coordinate the distribution of donated corneas to surgeons. I don’t know exact numbers of people on the waiting lists but I know for example in just the City of Edmonton last year there were over 400 people waiting.

About two weeks after Sheldon died the Lions Eye Bank of Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario sent Jacquie and Gil a letter in the mail telling them how Sheldon had changed two different people’s lives. Jacquie and Camille called me at midnight to let me know the news. It was joyous news.

Because Sheldon always thought of others before himself (it was ingrained in Sheldon) he was able to help two different people. They both received one of his corneas.

This is not a sample of the letter that Jacquie and Gil received but it is a sample of a difference having a cornea donated has made in a young girl’s life and also how truly grateful she is. The young girl is 26 years old and lives in British Columbia (I will call her J).

J was placed on a cornea waiting list and was told that she would wait for a minimum of three or more years. As it turned out she waited four. ‘They called me two days before the operation and said they had a cornea. I was so excited, but then I kept wondering what it was going to be like. The transplant took about an hour with me having a stay in the hospital for about seven hours.’

Within a day J could see the effects of the new cornea. ‘The next morning I took the bandage off of my eye, so I could put in the anti-rejection drugs in my eye, and it was the most amazing thing in the world. I could see. I started to cry. It hit home then that I received a transplant and that someone I didn’t even know gave me sight….it’s really hard to explain.’

‘The frustrating thing is you don’t know how to say thank you. You don’t know the people who made this possible. You wish you could tell them that they’ve made something good come out of their loved one’s death. They gave me back my life.’

Because of someone just as generous as Sheldon, J no longer has to hold back. She is able to lead a normal life.

Please, remember Sheldon and fill out your donor cards. Give the gift of God to others; as you would have them do for you, please do for them.

You made us all better Sheldon. You made us all want to be better.

I miss you every day Sheldon, every single day.

It is a new day of a new year of a new decade. Let us all be inspired by a young man who barely turned 25 before he died. Let us all be inspired by a young man who knew the true meaning of love.

Happy New Year.

Love Renee xoxoxo

*artwork by my dear friend Kathy Hare


Mim said...

that is a wonderful, wonderful gift that Sheldon gave. Truly the greatest.

Caio Fernandes said...

hallo Renee !!!
yes this is inspiring . God bless Sheldon .
thank you for this and for all you've posted and made .
God bless you too !!

ahhhh.......i am happy today .
have a wonderful 2010 honey . all the good feelings of the universe inside your sweet heart !!!!

Jenny S said...

How wonderful! I am so happy that Sheldon was able to give this gift!!

Ces said...

Oh my goodness Renee, that gave me goosebumps. Corneal transplants are so precious! Thank God for Sheldon's generosity and kindness.

I knew at the instant I saw the illustration that this was Kathy Hare's art! How fabulous!

Silke said...

Dearest Renee, what a wonderful story to read at the beginning of a new decade.

Sheldon truly was an angel, who is still making such a difference and touching so many lives, mine included!

Wishing you and your family a happy, healthy (especially that!), prosperous and fun New Year!! Thinking of you all always!! Love, Silke

Ces said...

Oh crud...please forgive me HAPPY NEW YEAR my Beloved Button Pusher, my Cup of Jasmine Tea, my Mug of Hot Coffee, my Comforting Cocoa Drink, my Glass of Diet Coke...gee I have a drinking problem... my beloved Renee!

Ces said...

I love you, I love you. Oh if you only know how much I love you! Sometimes I just cry.

Eddie Bluelights said...

Wonderful gift for Sheldon to give - sight to two other people - I am so very moved by this wonderful act of compassion.
I do agree that donation is a wonderful gift of love. I have tried in my own small way with 90 blood donations to date and I have a card with me that they can take anything they want if I have a fatal accident,
Problem is that I am way passed mt sell by date and I doubt whether my kidneys would be much use.
Wishing you a very Happy New Year. Love Eddie X

PS I would be highly honoured if you were to change your mind and agree to appear on The Sunday Roast. Several people have recommended you.
In case you agree please email me on

Ces said...

CRUD again! Yes I do. I don't make it public because it's when it's in public that I tear the other person's head off. BUT this the new day of the new year, I am a peaceful, loving and kind woman who resolve to be even more peaceful.

studio lolo said...

I love hearing the stories of the recipients of 'life gifts.'

I had a friend who got 10 more years of life with her new lung.

I love knowing the light in Sheldon's eyes will be shining in someone elses. And in their hearts as well.

Bless you Sheldon, wherever you may be.

Happy New Year Renee, sweet raven sister.

I love you.


yoborobo said...

Renee - I am in awe of Sheldon, and will always hold him close in my heart. Sheldon's gift to that young woman was so generous, and I know she will be forever grateful for it, and for him. Thank you for sharing this with all of us. What a kind and wonderful young man. xoxoxoxo Pam

Artistic Accents by Darla said...

So very beautiful Renee! Sheldon was an inspiration to so many and continues to be.
I'm a donor and I can only hope to help someone like he did someday.
Happy New Year sweets!
Love, Darla

Silke said...

I just found Jacquie's comment! Please tell her thank you from me!! Your whole family sounds so amazing, Renee! And you are so lucky that you are all so close - that's a true gift!! Love, Silke

Debra She Who Seeks said...

What a wonderful legacy and example Sheldon left! The picture for this post is perfect too.

Vicki Holdwick said...

Good morning, Renee,

What a lovely gift that Sheldon (and his loved ones) were able to give.

Hope you are doing well today.


Diva Kreszl said...

truly a blessing...Sheldon and so many other organ donors give a gift that is priceless and selfless. My great niece who is a thriving sweet child of seven recieved her gift of life (a new liver) at nine months of age.

Marion said...

Happy New Year, dearest Renee!! This does not surprise me about our precious Sheldon. He was one of the most giving, loving, compassionate people I've ever 'known'. It must run in your family. I'm so happy that he was able to give the gift of sight to others. How amazing is that, seeing as his spirit was pure light?! I love you and pray that you have a wonderful weekend. Love, Hugs and Blessings, my Canadian pal!!! xoxo

Bogey said...

Yes it was a very selfless act that Sheldon was able to do. Whether the recipients know it or not, a part of Sheldon walks around with always. Your guidance and love has obviously been passed around throughout your family and that makes you all very special. Overcoming and surviving obstacles, perservering when all looks dim is a wonderful trait to have. May we all take something from this message and carry it into the New Year. I also loved your tribute to your daughter Angelique. It is no wonder your children shine so bright. Look at who the mother is!

Happy New Year Renee to you and your entire family. May the New Year bring you nothing but Peace!

yoon see said...

Happy New Year Renee!

clairedulalune said...

Happy New Year to you Renee! What a wonderful person Sheldon was, the greatest gift. You inspire me all the time dear lady, I will apply for a donor card today, thank you for your wonderful post! You are never far from my thoughts!((Hugs!!))

secret agent woman said...

That's incredible and I am sure it would make Sheldon happy to know he'd passed along his vision. It sounds like he was a remarkably generous young man.

Sue said...

Sheldon was and is truly a hero, a shining knight. His essence through the things he did and the stories you post about him will go on to inspire us for many years.

Renee, thank you for this heartwarming post about Sheldon's Gift and for your reminder for all of us to sign our donor cards.

One of my best friends passed away from an anuryism at the young age of 48. He had signed his donor card years ago when our eldest daughter was diagnosed with diabetes. Because of his gift, 10 people received the priceless gift of sight, breath and enriched, healthier lives. Signing that card only takes a minute and the result can last a lifetime.

Happy New Year to you my beautiful friend!


Annie said...

How wonderful is that! Sheldon is a one in a million. My cousin donated his whole body to cancer research, which is wonderful too. I have left my whole body to be donated. What a gift and it is not like we need these bodies after we leave. Love you, Happy New Year! XOXOXOXOXOXO

clairedulalune said...

Renee, I just did it! You can apply online, so simple! I ticked the box saying they can take anything that is use to them! Thank you Renee!!

Lilacrobin said...

Happy New Year, dear Renee.

I was, like everyone, so touched to read about Sheldon's wonderful gift. Now two people see the world through Sheldon's eyes - this ensures that he not only lives on in Heaven, but also is still here gazing at all the beauty of our world. What a selfless gift of love. This should be our mantra this selfless and love.

You and Jacque remain in my prayers. Stay strong and beautiful!



Karin Bartimole said...

Your beautiful Sheldon was, and remains, a generous visionary, reaching far and wide...

Kathleen said...

You gather the most lovely about you, Renee. Thank you for sharing their stories with us!

Becky said...

such a beautiful, uplifting story Renee, thanks for sharing.

Great-Granny Grandma said...

An inspiring post, Renee. Proof that something awesome can be birthed out of the most tragic of situations.
God bless you and your family.

Loni Edwards said...

Such a beautiful post Renee! Thank you so much for starting my day off so beautifully.

Love, Loni

cinner said...

What a wonderful gift. Sheldon sounds like he was a wonderful person. I worked in optical and the gift of sight program is another wonderful program to donate even old glasses. I am a donor. What a beautiful post Renee, I hope you are feeling well. Take care.

Pattee said...

Dear Renee...
I am so moved by the gift Sheldon gave to this young woman barely older than he when he passed on. To change someone's life like that is wondrous and beautiful.

Thank you for this post to remind everyone of Sheldon's generous heart.

And to see how his Aunt Renee loved him loves him so much~

I love you Renee~
Your a gift to me.

soulbrush said...

and i think of him often too, and i am also going to give myself to science, what they'll have, as it is the least i can do, eyes that see from sheldon's soul, i like that

Barbara said...

Sheldon was a beautiful soul. Bless him. xoxo

lakeviewer said...

I'm melted down. What a beautiful message for us all. Thanks Renee, your thoughts and Sheldon's spirit live on.

Jos said...

There... you see, Sheldon had the same "angel" gene. My wallet contains my donor card (dated 1981). I registered on the national database which is checked in the absense of said card. You never know.

Last night was a full moon. So beautiful. It stayed in the sky quite late this morning as I walked to see the stones (I generally rise early). Renee it was just magical, I never saw anything like it ... a few wispy clouds across the moons face, so incredibly atmospheric. I wish you could have seen it. Saying the rosary has become such a comfort to me ... a way of being where I cannot be. A way of helping where I can't help.

I love you. xx Jos

Bella Sinclair said...

Sheldon is a Gift, a beautiful, selfless, giving young warrior of a gift. Thank you for sharing this story.

I am a proud donor and hope to someday be able to help others as Sheldon has done.

Happy New Year to you and your family, dearest. May it be filled with blessings and peace, laughter and love, healing and answered prayers.

ps. Yes, Kathy's fabulous artwork is instantly recognizable.

Jeanne said...

Sheldon and Jamie -- the good guys.

Allegra Smith said...

We have been organ donors ever since it was available. Our driver's license has it in case of a car accident, I have it clearly marked on my living will and I believe with all my heart in the personal joy of being able to give to someone something so precious as the gift of sight.

Somehow I am not surprised about Sheldon's gift. He was a source of joy alive and he continues to be one after going to the other side of the veil. Love keeps on giving regardless of time and space. So, in the same spirit of giving, give my love to Jacquie and you have mine as always. May the new year bring us all a modicum of peace, some joy and laughter and good humor to face the difficulties that no doubt are part and parcel of the gift of living. LALF.

Angela Recada said...

I am so humbled by all that your darling Sheldon accomplished in his too-short life. This is such a touching story, especially on the first day of a new year.

Happy New Year to you and your loved ones, dear Renee. God bless you all.

Hugs and love,

Sarah said...

Oh hon what a wonderful gift he gave..I know he is looking down and smiling at that young woman as she enjoys those beautiful eyes.
I am in thrilled that his wish was granted.. Hugs hon and Happy New Year to you. Here is to the next wonderful year!
Love you, Sarah

Sonia ;) said...

Our boy Sheldon...My Hero..even in death has me in tears. When my Dad died he wanted to be a organ donor and couldnt because of the cance. He did donate his cornes as Sheldon. I remember the day we got the letter also. Just going about our day a few months after passed. Get that letter from the Lions, thought ok what am I donating? With my surprise it was a Thank you letter giving the ok for his corneas, they called the evening he went down and in all the tears and pain I answered their call and said yes.

Sheldon...My Hero...present and after life.

Love you Lovey xoxoxoxoxxo

mermaid said...

Sheldon, it sounds like you had a third eye, the kind that sees beyond all sight. Your vision of love will now live on.

Renee, your love for your family and their suffering is so tender and dear. It makes life come full circle.

Vera said...

This must be very comforting to all who knew and loved him. And just to say that I read your blog frequently, and feel inspired by your efforts in keeping going forward. Wishing you all the best for 2010.

Baino said...

I'm already a donor but you need to remember that even with a donor card, the family will be 'asked' at an awful and awkward time for permission. It's really important that you speak to your family members and let them know your wishes before the time comes. I was asked if I would donate my mother's corneas. I didn't know her wishes and I said 'no' a decision I have regretted over the past years. Please, let your family know that you are willing to be a donor and not to interfere. How wonderful that two people now see the world through Sheldon's eyes. A magical gift indeed.

YayaOrchid said...

A very touching and poignant post Renee. Your nephew was a very special and giving individual. I know you will always cherish his memory.

Wishing you the best in the coming year Renee!

Angie Muresan said...

What a beautiful gift sight is! I cannot imagine not being able to see. And what a beautiful soul Sheldon had!

I read this earlier today, Renee and my heart whispered your name: "I had thought that there was no one, that I was alone, but I had forgotten that angels walk beside us." Praying that today is a good day.

Love, hugs and kisses!!!

Ingrid Mida said...

What a beautiful gift Sheldon gave with the donation of his corneas! You also have given us a gift in sharing his story.
Best wishes to you Renee. Every one of your posts is a gift!

Sarah said...

This is wonderful and such a lovely gift for Sheldon to have given. Happy new year to you Renee and to all your family too. Lots of love, Sarah xx

Diana Evans said...

this is so beautiful Renee....he is smiling from Heaven knowing that he made such a huge difference in this you do with your wonderful friendship and are a teacher to us all and I love that you inspire so many...Wishing you a Happy 2010...filled with miracles and great friendships....

Cole had so much fun this Holiday Season...and I did too seeing it all over through his eyes!!!


Ribbon said...

I'm a little lost for words.
Sheldon is truely beautiful and you for recognising this, but wow renne it's just so bloody sad to have had to say goodbye.

love to you and thank you so very much for all that you share.
you really are an incredible woman.

thinking of you with love
Ribbon xx

yoborobo said...

Renee - I love you, you know. Just a whole bunch. Your friendship means the world. Thank you so much for that. xoxoxoxoxoxoxox Pam

Gloria said...

Happy New Year dear Renee! I think Sheldon will always live on in spirit. To be remembered always. Have a great year Renee!

karen gerstenberger said...

Renee, thank you for telling us about this. It is a wonderful gift, and I feel in my heart that somehow, Sheldon knows. What a beautiful young man he was.

There is a book that a friend gave to us called "Nicholas' Gift;" it's a true story of a family who did just what Sheldon wanted: they gave their loved one's organs, and saved a group of people's lives. It's an inspiring and wonderful story, told by Nicolas' father.

Speaking of gifts, I tried to join the treasure chest group, but never heard back from the organizers, so I hope you have received my package separately. Sending you and Jacquie, and your families, much love, and wishes for a Happy, healthy New Year. XOXO

Anonymous said...

Renee, my heart is so overjoyed and amazed at this wonderful Sheldon who showed so much compassion and trueness. Truly pleased that his eyes made two people lives better and in such an amazing way. Never think of eyes and they are so important.
Fours years wait!

Bless you and your family!
You are all so very beautiful!



Betzie said...

Such a beautiful post Renee...and I'm so so happy for those people who can see better now thanks to Sheldon's gift. His love goes on forever and he is smiling with the angels now. Take care and thanks for sharing!!! xoxo

~Babs said...

That is SUCH joyous news!
May the recipients be able to see all that Sheldon 'saw'.
He, that special old soul in a young man's body.
Happy New Year Renee!

LDWatkins said...

Renee, that is so wonderful for all of you, your family, the recipient. I'm so happy for you..just to know that Sheldon continues to give gifts of love is such a heart warmer. Happy New Year to your family!

Poetic Artist said...

Sheldon what a beautiful gift.
If I could meet one of my friends on line, I would like for it to be you..Your heart is so large and full of love..How do you do it?
Guess what my dinner and The turkey turned out wonderful..I only had to take small amounts of medication to get through the entire day..

Pattee said...

Good night dear friend Renee...

Tomorrow the second day of the New Year... I'm praying for you, Jacqui and your mum.

You are in my thoughts and heart...
Much Love~

Elizabeth said...

That is truly incredible in every way. The selflessness of that young man, the fact that his corneas, his eyes, the windows to his soul live on in another human. Truly amazing.

one little acorn said...

I am already registered and was so touched by this post Renee. One day (hopefully a long time from now, but one day) I hope to do the same. What an incredible gift from the heart.
Lots of love to you and your family.

isay (Marissa) said...

Very inspiring beautiful post.
Happy New Year Renee.

one little acorn said...

Oh and Thank-you so much for your beautiful card Renee. It bought a bright ray of sunshine into my day.
Love to you.

BT said...

What a wonderful gift Sheldon was able to give to two people. He was truly such a generous soul - it must be like a miracle to be able to see again.

Happy New Year to you dear Renee. xxx

Clarity said...

Darling Renee, you made me think deeply. God bless Sheldon and your whole family. Thank you, love you, peace, xxx.

kj said...

it will always be nice to visit your blog and read about sheldon. how can i (we) not see his kind face and beautiful smile and not be lifted by his generosity?

i can't imagine a better gift than sight, renee and jacquie. this boy of yours....

happy new year my moon sister dearest friend. yes, i have your heart and i thank you for it. you have mine too and anytime you use it the love expands wider than the widest ocean. :)


Anonymous said...

What a inspirational story and a challenge to us all. A good way to begin the New Year and decade doing for others. Blessings, Barb

Shelly said...

What a great great picture - I like to think of Sheldon more alive really than any of us. If only we could all see the world through his eyes - Sheldon had such beautiful ones...I am so proud to have been his aunt.

vintage moon studio said...

Blessings to Sheldon... more than his memory lives on! Wishing you a year filled with peace and hope. xox Deb

Lisa Lectura Creations said...

Hi Renee! Sheldon's gifts will always be a blessing. His love will never be forgotten. Thanks for sharing such a special post!

Happy 2010!

Lisa :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Renee, Great news I have finished your painting. I just have to varnish it and put some hooks and wire on the back.
Now there is a question I need to ask.
Do you wish to see the photo's of it before I post it? If so would it be ok, to put on my blog?
Or would you rather keep it as a suprise until it arrives in your home?
Which I will place on my blog once you have received it.
I don't mind either way.

All the best and hugs!


Deborah said...

Well Happy New Year 2010...welcome to a view of the world. How amazing is that! How gloriously wonderful. So much in this world has already changed for the good because of Sheldon...not just seeing with new eyes, but learning to see with our hearts. I thank you, Sheldon, for breaking open my's a whole different view from here. All my love to this most wonderful family.
Love, Deb

pinkglitterfae said...

what a beautiful post Renee, Sheldon was an angel, and still is. How wonderful to have known such an inspirational young man.
Here is to a new year Renee, may it be the best ever for you and your family. It's a fresh start for all of us.
Blessings, and hugs to you,

Anonymous said...

Hi Renee, third time lucky for photos to get through to you. I think they were to large so shrunk them.
Let me know if you receive them.


Manon Doyle said...

This brought tears to my eyes. Sheldon left the most beautiful gift!! He is an angel.
I love you Renee!!

A Spoonful Of Sugar said...

Hi Renee - I haven't been around blogland over the past few weeks and can see I have a lot to catch up on!

Sheldon has touched so many during his life and it is no surprise that he wanted to help others with this gift!

Love the family photos on your Christmas post - it was wonderful to be able to put faces to the beautiful imagery you have created in your "Regarding" birthday posts - what a truly beautiful family you have.

Hope that 2010 is full of blessings for you and your family Renee!

Love Lisa

Pattee said...

Are your bats bothering you today Renee?

Can I knock them senseless? Can I use a megaphone and scream at them till they are deaf?

Can I wish you a 2nd day of the new year? Just for you and me... with hot strong tea, crumpets with butter and jam, a French train sandwich of ham and gureye cheese on a bagette. A small salad of apples, walnuts and greens...

Much Love to you Renee on this evening~

Dean Grey said...

What a touching end, or should I say beginning to Sheldon's story!

Happy New Year to you, Renee!


Caroline said...

What a truly wonderful way to start the new year, Renee! You must feel so proud of Sheldon! What a beautiful family you are. Bless you all. x

michelle allen said...

what a beautiful story Renee. brought tears to my eyes reading it. and the illustration is also so touching.

thank you for inspiring us. to GIVE.

happy new year. may it hold abundant blessings for you and yours.

The Dutchess said...

No comments on this one dearest...just,Thank you..:)

Daria said...

Let's hope for the best 2010 we can give us.

Chrisy said...

oh honey...darling Sheldon...

Draffin Bears said...

Hi Renee,

I loved reading of the wonderful gift that Sheldon gave, his eyes... that others could see.
I am a donor, when I got my license you could say if you wanted to be one. To be able to help someone else is a good thing.

I hope that you and your family, have a wonderful Year, dear friend.


Bridgett said...

As a registered nurse who used to work on a renal transplant floor, I can definitely say it's the most beautiful gift in the world.

Sheldon is an inspiration.

Marie S said...

Happy New Year Gorgeous!!!
Thank you for this wonderful update.
I am so grateful that I have been graced with you and your family.
I think about you all everyday and Sheldon pops in to my mind all of the time.
I am a better person knowing you, and when I am not good...I remember to be.
Thank you, darling, you light the world with your light .

Momo Luna said...

Dear, sweet Renee,
waht a beautiful, touching first post of this year. I am so happy that the wish from Sheldon to help other people came true. And yes he'll be remembered. He is such an inspiration, just like you are. I thank you for your moving, inspiring posts. Life isn't always easy and still you care about others and bring light in this world. I wish for you and your lovely family a good 2010 with lots of love, friendship, energy, good health and more.

You are truly an angel i think... xoxo <3 Monica