Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Local News

April 26, 2013

Living proof that life's a gift

(Continued)

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — “If people talk about it before they’re in a crisis situation, then hopefully they’re more comfortable and prepared” to give consent for themselves or a loved one, Lea said.

The topic hits doubly close to home for Mrs. Lanfear, who gave consent for her late husband Dan’s organs to be donated in 2006. Dan Lanfear gave new life to eight people who received his heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, pancreas and small intestines. Seven years later, Lea’s story is “a celebration of life,” she said. 

“Please become educated on the facts about organ donation and give thoughtful consideration to registering,” Mrs. Lanfear urged the assembled students. “If you think it could never happen to you, think again.”

Sally Moore also addressed the students to relay the story of her daughter Stephanie, a 2002 LHS graduate who died in a motor vehicle accident in 2010. Stephanie was a registered organ donor, and her written consent provided peace of mind to her doctors and her family, Mrs. Moore said.

“Don’t wait. Just do it,” she said.

•••

Lea’s aunts and uncles, and grand uncle Richard Conley, are organizing a two-part benefit for Lea that will be held May 18 at Lock 34 and May 19 at the Cornell Cooperative Extension.

Conley said the fundraisers are the family’s answer to the frequently asked question, “how can I help?” Since word of Lea’s illness got around, they’ve been inundated with offers.

Proceeds from the benefit will be deposited in a fund for Lea’s “future,” Conley said. While everyone’s celebrating Lea’s recovery and the fact that she’s just fine in the moment, her elders worry about obstacles down the road. Lea will have to take anti-rejection medication for the rest of her life, and health insurance costs could be higher for an organ recipient.

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