Friday, January 21, 2011


What can you say about a little girl born on the most tragic day this country has ever known and killed on an equally tragic day? Christina Green, who left the security of her mother’s womb on September 11th, 2001, the day the twin towers of Manhattan collapsed, has done plenty in her short life.

I know practically nothing about this little girl. I don’t know if she took ballet lessons or who her best friend was, or what her favorite color was. Did she like to sing? Did she play with dolls or was she a tomboy?

What I do know is that she was interested in her civil duty, and the meaning of democracy. She had just been elected into her student council at her school. This new awareness prompted her to delve deeper into the political process and take the opportunity to visit with a politician. These actions tell me how bright she was. Yes, she was a bright little girl; she was giving and loving as well. Christina’s family has donated her organs to several people, because “it would have been what she wanted,” her father said. Among the recipients is a little girl from Boston.

And now the point of my blog. Just like little Christina, none of us are masters of our fate. We come into this world confident of leading a long and fruitful life. No matter how young or old we are when the time comes to meet our maker, we can give back that which was given to us: LIFE.

Following talk-show host David Letterman’s example here are the ten top reasons why you should become an organ donor.

#10 – For those of you who think “six feet under” is all fine and well but prefer to be transferred into another body, this is your chance.

#9 – A legacy that will always be held in the highest of regards is that of an organ donor.    

#8 – If ever you need an organ you’ll be thankful that someone thought of you, just as you have thought of others.

#7 – Donating your organs is like AIG (yes, the corporation that is too big to fail). You only have to keep that promise at a point in time when you won’t remember you have even made it.

#6 – You can always tell an organ donor: it’s the person who avoids taking risks.

#5 – Few of us will do great things in our lives, at least that others will know of. Donating an organ will make you very popular among all those whom you have helped.

#4 – Donating an organ means you are healthy. Hospitals will not take organs from sick people.

#3 – You will never feel guilty again for passing a person pan-handling and not giving him or her money. By becoming an organ donor you can always tell yourself you’re doing something much greater.    

#2 – If ever you donate your organs, it will be when you won’t need them anymore.

#1 – There is no higher form of generosity and giving than being an organ donor. By placing that little sticker on your driver’s license, you join the group of people spreading a message of love, hope and continuity.

Dear Christina, it broke my heart and the heart of the nation, that this senseless tragedy befell you and the other victims. But out of this dark and painful experience, you shine brighter than ever. Currently more than 100,000 people are waiting for organs. 8000 donors saved a little under 22,000 lives last year. 18 people die daily in the United States because they cannot get an organ on time. 

You, Christina, are my hero for keeping one little girl in Boston off the deceased list. Even though I have never met you, you and I are connected. You passed away before you had a chance to live your life, and I was just a few years older than you when I began my descent into illness. In saving the little girl in Boston, you have saved me, because people as generous as you have given me their organs. You are bigger than life Christina, bigger than my life will ever be from where I stand, on the receiving end. I am truly humbled. 

Thursday, January 13, 2011


“Where should we go for dinner?” I asked my husband a few days ago. He casually picked up the Zagat, which seems to always be close by. He began flipping through the pages. This small book full of culinary treasures is our guideline to pleasing our palette. This time however, his mind and mine drifted away from our taste buds. Suddenly, we had a “Siamese” moment as I call it. I knew what he was thinking because I was thinking the same thing. Lately, I had been complaining of “bloggers block.” I couldn’t figure out what I wanted to write about. In that meeting of minds it became clear to my husband and me. “Honey,” he said, “you’ve spent more time in hospitals than restaurants.” That’s all he needed to say. What if there was a hospital Zagat? And an idea was born.

UCLA Medical Center a “delight” for the patient and their spouse who want to spend "quality time" together in the emergency room. Bring a game of Monopoly or Trivial Pursuit, or a book like War and Peace as you “savor” the five-hour wait to be seen. Allow yourself to get into a “contemplative” mood while staring at the “mesmerizing” off-white walls, and listening to the “soft” moans of those around you. Sadly, UCLA Medical Center lost a few points  when the drunken homeless guy sat down next to me. Instead of 29 I give it 25 for emergency room services and 28 for patient care (once we got to that point).