Hello happy readers! I am so excited to be here on Coffee Time Romance today! I am still quite new to the forum but I am having lots of fun getting to know you all. Many of you have already been so generous and sweet, and I thank you for your warm hospitality.

 So let’s get blogging shall we?

 Well, it seems we are nearing the end of February (hard to believe, isn’t it?) the month of “love and romance”. And most often—being the huge romantics that we are—we can’t help but try to think of new and interesting ways of expressing our affection to that special someone. Perhaps it’s a surprise dinner date to an exotic restaurant, a soothing spa experience complete with lighted candles and strewn rose petals, or even just a quiet evening snuggled in bed together with the kids staying at the grandparents house.

reneevincentphoto No matter what we come up with, it’s our way of showing just how much we care when words, alone, are not enough. It fills our souls with satisfaction and warms our hearts to go above and beyond the normal expectation of a Valentine’s Day celebration.

 But with all these thoughts of warming hearts, love and sacrifice, I’m also reminded of the ultimate sacrifice for love—giving your life to save another.

 No, I am not telling anyone to do anything rash, nor am I endorsing martyrdom. What I am encouraging is organ donation.

 I was at a benefit this Saturday for a friend of mine who in on the list for a heart transplant. However, due to the high demand for such an organ, her wait has been long, arduous, and quite frightening, so much in fact, that she has had a heart attack during the “wait”. To Get her through until a heart becomes “available”, the doctors implanted her with a temporary mechanical heart.

 Now mind you, she is only in her late thirties, so to have a heart attack at her age, plus knowing full well that her heart is already critically weak, is a very scary moment, for both the family who loves her, and the woman who’s going through this torment. I cannot begin to imagine the stress level she is enduring on top of a weak heart.

 Right now, she is regaining her strength and hoping to be put back on the list for the transplant soon. And like I said, I was present at her benefit organized to help with her outrageous medical bill—that is climbing to enormous heights with each passing day.

 Amazingly, with the generosity of friends and family, the benefit brought in over $50,000 in donations! While that is absolutely tremendous, it’s still just a drop in the bucket in the grand scheme of things. The ultimate donation would be for her to gain the new heart on which her life depends.

 It has not yet happened for her, nor has it happened for many others waiting on livers, kidneys, or any other organ needed to sustain their lives. And it won’t unless you make the decision to be an organ donator.

But remember, it’s not enough to just declare it. You must tell your family and friends of your wishes, so that if that day ever suddenly comes—because accidents happen and death is not something anyone can plan ahead for—your family can express your wishes to the hospital before it is too late to extract the necessary organs from your body.

 After death, we do not need our organs where we are going, so please let someone else use them who DOES. You will not be less of a person for it; you will be more to someone than anyone could ever thank you for. And wouldn’t it feel grand to leave this world with one last gesture of love?

 Lindsey3So I’m sure you are asking by now, “Why is Renee blogging about this on a romance blog?” It’s very simple really. I would not have become a published  romance author and written my first book without the help of my little sister, Lindsey.  When she was alive, she was only person to have read the first chapter and she told me, then, to “finish it”.  A few months later, she died in a car accident.

 After her tragic death in 2005, I finally heard her words of encouragement echoing in my ears, and Ræliksen no longer was just a dream, but a reality. I owe everything to her—this amazing journey I am on, the wonderful people I am meeting all across the world, and the doors that are opening for me.

 Despite her tender age of twenty when she died, Lindsey was smart enough to tell her loved ones that she wanted to be an organ donor. On the day of her death, a near-blind woman’s eyesight was restored because of my sister’s generosity and humility. Even though she is my little sister, I look up to her. And I want to give back to her what she had done for me.

 So, since February is a month for sharing love and giving of yourself, I am encouraging every one of my readers to do just that! Have a heart—do your part—be an organ donor. So many children, mothers, and fathers alike are waiting.

 Raeliksen CoverAnd that is not all….if you leave a comment on this blog I will be drawing one lucky person to win an autographed copy of my historical romance, Ræliksen. It doesn’t have to necessarily be about organ donation…I just wanted to get the word out and make my sister as proud of me as I am of her.

 Also, stick around….I will have more to blog about today. I look forward to meeting you all today. 

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