Thursday, December 9, 2010
We met Brande's heart recipient in July and she came to stay with us for a week in November of 2010. I was so excited to have Barbara Larson with me for the LOPA picnic this year. So much time has passed since I have added to this blog. I am so sorry for that. I will update you a little now. The following photo was taken on November 6th at the LA state fair and LOPA picnic. for more info go to www.lopa.org and look at the hero page to see how many families have helped save lives.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Main: General News: Local News
Heart to Heart Submitted: 07/11/2010
PHELPS - It's a journey that's taken nearly 15 months and 1000 miles, but this weekend one Northwoods woman meets the family of a 19-year-old girl who saved her life.
Barbara says,"She's saying I love you mom."
Sherry Denson Sellers is hearing her daughters heart beat once again.
She says, "I can hear it."
A heart that saved Barbara Larsen's life.
Sherry says, "That's amazing. Thank you."
The two women met face to face for the first time this weekend.
Sherry says, "It's like I've known her my whole life, I mean it's unbelievable that I just feel so comfortable sitting right here next to her."
Barbara adds, "It was comfortable when I hugged her."
A hug that's possible thanks to organ donation. Sherry's 19-year-old daughter Brande died April 22nd, 2009 from injuries in a car accident in Lousiana. But as Brande left her family, she gave new life to seven people.
Sherry says, "My child has done more in death than I ever will in my life and that to me is unbelieveable."
Barbara needed a new heart after suffering a heart attack. She waited for nearly a year, trying an experimental machine to keep her alive. And on April 23rd, 2009 she got the call.
Barbara says, "They had a heart for me. They had to get me to Eagle River real fast, onto an airplane down to Madison, which an ambulance then took me to the hospital and that night after midnight they put my heart in."
Sherry adds, "I knew from the moment my daughter went to heaven, I would meet her."
But the meeting almost didn't happen.
Barbara says, "I was so worried what is this mother going to think with her daughter's 20-year-old heart in my body."
Sherry says, "She said I was scared because of my age and I said I don't care if you're 102, if your heart's beating, I am so happy."
A happiness that's also shared by Barbara's son.
Brian Musial says, "I cannot thank them enough for how much they've helped her and I would ask everybody, for Brande, to sign the back of your license and become an organ donor."
One heart, bringing two families together.
Both Sherry and Barbara are now both involved in promoting organ donation.
Sherry says one organ donor can save up to 50 lives.
If you'd like more information about how to become an orgatn donor you can click on the links below.
Related Weblinks: LOPA: Louisiana Organ Procurement Agency www.lopa.org
Donate Life Wisconsin
Donate Life Website
Monday, April 5, 2010
I know that she is still with me, but gees, I miss holding her and hugging her and picking on her when she Would do silly things. My memories will always be treasured and always be happy, but this was hard for me. I remember her hiding eggs with me last year for the boys, and taking them to First Baptist Church with me for an egg hunt on Saturday that was already over when we got there. The youth minister and a few people at the church ended up putting out more eggs just for our family. That was really memorable and fun. it was the day before her accident and my last day to look into her smiling face and see my baby girl. What a wonderful day we had together. I am praying for a celebration of her life on the 22nd of April. This is the day she passed and I do not want to be alone, So I am thinking of things to do that day with my children. My husband will be leaving me that week for a trip with the school and I need lots of prayer. If you have any suggestions please leave them in a comment for me. Thanks and lots of love.... Sherry Denson Sellers
Thank him Daily.
Sherry Denson Sellers
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
page 12 & 13
Friday, March 26, 2010
thanks so much
Sherry Denson Sellers
820 Jordan St.Suite 385
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Fear comes into our lives when we least expect it.
Brande was in an automobile accident on Sunday, April 12th and arrived at the LSU hospital unconscious and remains that way for the past 96 hours.Brande's condition has not made any majors changes from Wednesday. Wednesday, she did move her right arm voluntarily and responded to Sherry's voice with a noticeable increase in blood pressure. She has been cleaned up by her nurses and she looks terrific for her circumstances.Her current status has her resting well under sedation but today they are looking at placing a treach tube and remove the respirator tube so that it is easier to manipulate. Additional, they are looking at her potassium levels which are high. Her pituitary gland is not operating properly and they are working on controlling it with meds until further information is available. They have removed her brain pressure tube but left in the drain to continue the relief of pressure. Also, her sedative medication is being decreased to allow her to wake up on her own but they still have reservation about how she will react to waking up and not knowing where she is and fear that she might struggle during that period. We still want her to remain motionless.We want to thank everyone across the nation for their constant prayers as God has taken over and placed her in his hands for her full recovery. Our friends and family at Kings Highway Christian Church, and South field School have been invaluable in their support and prayer in the helping and healing of our wonderful daughter.Continued update will follow. Current time- 1:00pm Thur., April
Wednesday, April 21,2009
Brande has been taken off of the paralytic and the sedatives to see if she will wake. She has not been responsive so far. I met with her surgeons and there is no way to operate, so we are hoping for a miracle. They went through her MRI and showed me the damage that has been done and the difficulty of the situation. I had to find a hiding place today to pray. I ask God to tell me what to do. Two lovely women were sent to me to tell me to Get into a place and ask for strength and peace, for guidance and direction. I found a lot of peace in this scripture/ Hebrews 11:1-2-3 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. By faith we understand that the worlds, were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.I am comforted to know that Brande is here for a reason bigger than my expectations of her. I just want to thank God first for giving me 19 wonderful years with my girl so far, and thank all of you who have prayers for her, me and my family. My heart is full of gratefulness for the love and support I receive each day. Please know without it I would collapse. We are swamped with calls of love each day. Please know today I had to just set my phone aside so please do not feel offended if I do not answer. I do hear your messages and read your text. I also feel your love and kindness each day.love Sherry
Brande Nicole Denson Our Hero
I remember so clearly Brande's 17th birthday. She got out of bed and came into the kitchen where I was doing my daily whatever moms do. I ask her what she wanted to do for her birthday and she replied. I want to go and give blood with you mom. What a great gift to give on someone's birthday. So not about her.... I am so proud of Brande and will have information on the people she has helped by donating her organs. My little girl is quite the hero and i love her. Please keep her recipients in your prayers that they might be healed by Gods loving grace and Brande's giving heart. sherryhttp://www.lopa.org/heroes.html Thank you for your heartfelt concern and all of your love for our daughter.Sherry Denson Sellers
You know what pleases me more than anything is now I realize that no matter what I do I am helping someone. Weather it is giving up a spot in a parking lot or buying lunch. Now I do not mean to say you should buy your family or kids MC whatever s every day. Fast food is just not good for you. It is filled with MSG and other things that will not help you in a good way at all. I am a fairly good mom. I do not allow cola's in my home.
I cannot say what will happen tomorrow but I know what I have learned so far is only a small part of what I have yet to learn. one thing I read today came from an interpretation of the Dow Te Chen
Fill your bowl to the brim
and it will spill.
Keep sharpening your knife
and it will blunt.
Chase after money and security
and your heart will never unclench.
Care about people's approval
and you will be their prisoner.
Do your work, then step back.
The only path to serenity.
So, If I want to become whole,
I must let myself be partial.
If I want to become straight,
I must let myself be crooked.
If I want to become full,
I must let myself be empty.
If I want to be reborn,
I must let myself die.
If I want to be given everything,
I must give everything up.
Not that I should become a bum and live in the streets, but to know that I can live without the things I have coveted has changed my life. I have yet to give more than I have been given and that is my goal. I think when you can give more than you have been given you have given everything. Now, I do not mean giving up my couch or my kids tuition. I mean giving from within. For instance. I was raised into a good home and family. We did not have much but we had each other. I have blocked the teen years when I was abused and molested by people who did not belong in my life and who my family never believed would do such a thing. I searched my heart and let those pains go. I know what good things have come to me in my life. I always knew they would. I have had big homes, dogs, cats, kids, cars, money, travel, boats, and more. The only things of those mentioned that ever made me feel good all the time were the dogs, cats, kids and travel. I am not just talking about my kids either. I am talking about the kids I have met through my kids, through my church, and most of all through volunteering my time at the schools and hospitals. If you have ever volunteered for a children s hospital and met a parent who could not get a moment away until you arrived you would know exactly what I mean. Help is only possible if we realize that we can and should apply it to every content of our being.
What happend to me this morning was just a small gesture, but it helped a lady feel better who obviously forgot my name at a place I frequent. Now some people would get mad and feel shunned if they are forgotten, but I have learned to look for a smile. I know her name very well and when she came for me to sign the check for breakfast she could not read my scribble and had to ask my first name. I told her and as she began to apologize I piped up and stopped her. I simply put it. I would rather see you smile at me when I come in without knowing my name than know my name and frown when I show up. She smiled at me and agreed and I think it made both of us feel better. You see, letting someone know you are no higher or lower in status from them makes you feel good whether waiting tables or sitting in a corporate chair.
More words translated from the toa DE Chang
weather going up the ladder
or down the ladder
the journey is shaky
but with both feet planted
on the ground you are steady.
I find that concentrating on positive affirmation and good works makes me feel much better than being saddened by life or the things I hear about or encounter each day. When Easter came this year I did not want to be home. I did not want to touch the empty chair my child would normally occupy on Easter Sunday. I did not want to think about the blueberry pancakes we had last Easter for breakfast, or that it was the last breakfast we would ever share. Instead I went to a hotel and forced the rest of my family to have dinner in a Mexican restaurant and an Easter egg hunt for my boys in the hotel room. I know how much fun we have had in the past and I need to focus on this, but what an eye opener when you look back and see how selfish you can be sometimes. I know a lot of people will tell me I am not being selfish, but I am. When I want to pout that is being selfish in my book. I should be celebrating her chance to help others and focus on that. Focus on helping my family have a wonderful holdiay with their mother instead of thinking of my own feelings and making them sleep in hotels and eat in restaurants on Easter. It was pretty good food though. I must admit everyone seemed to be happy with the fair. Weather it was saving face for me or that they were truly okay, I feel that my selfishness created my sadness and I have to work on that.
Sometimes when we think we have it all figured out! How many times have we heard or said that one. Or, here's a good one. If I only knew then what I know now. That is something you hear yourself repeating when you become your parents age and your kids become you. Wow. How trusting we are of God and our parents until we begin to experience the intelligence we mistake for responsibility. We think we know it all and somehow we cannot keep promises, dates, term paper schedules, or much of anything having to do with being responsible. Those are the teen years into college. They are what they called the best days of our lives in a song.
I called a friend for coffee but she is always running a little behind in the am. We talked for a moment and it turned into 20. Have you ever done that? If you are female the common answer will be yes. She laid her heart on me about a child who is what she felt was picking on her child who is very meek, which more than not people concider a weakness. After listening to what this child is doing falling down and crying if her son will not play with him, then being abusive by words and action when he gives in. I told her It sounds to me like manipulation. This child has learned to get attention by manipulating people which probably includes his parents. The she told me about a dream she had with children being manipulated by adults. Now I do not know if the dream was telling her something or not, but I think believing what you learn and holding fast to the positive affirmation of things is best. I once heard someone say that a bad man is a good mans job and a good man is a bad mans teacher. It makes complete sense to me. I try to be a light for those I encounter and as God shine for all to see.
In the bible it tells us we are made of God, we are to be God Like, so when you ask where are you God? conciser this, Where is he not?.
My question for you today is this. When you feel compelled to do something what do you end up doing. So many times I have felt like there is something I needed to do and I did not do it. I refrained from it for one reason or another. I do not always know why, but mostly out of fear. I know that there have been so many times in my life when I worried about doing something because it either would not work out in my head, my heart or it would be embarrassing if it failed or was not accepted. I can honestly say that today I follow those urges, instincts, drives, or whatever you want to call them. I have felt so good since I started. Things just seem to work out when you know in your heart and soul that it is something you need to follow. You will know too. You have the capability of many things you do not realize you have inside you.
I for instance could have never written a book in the 80's. So, I say. I use the excuse of spell check. Being dyslexic I felt it necessary to use excuses when I had trouble overcoming something. I now understand that I could have written a book in the 80's. I could do anything then that I can do now. I just did not realize what was inside of me. When you see a kid like Tiger Woods who start playing with passion at three or four years old you realize that they have desire and they are doing what they love. When you see a woman who is raising a family with love in her heart and happiness in her eyes you know she is doing what she loves.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Shreveport, LA 71104
Dear Christina, Paula and The staff at the Lions Eye Bank:
Please accept my greatest appreciation for your work in aiding me with the information on Brande’s Eye Recipients. I was so excited to hear that her eyes helped restore or improve someone’s vision. I think about it and wonder. If we were all blind would there be prejudice? I only know this. We know not what we can loose until we are faced with the challenge of regaining what we have lost. This is never easy, but knowing that by giving her organs Brande helped not one, but two people with vision problems makes me even more proud of my angel. I know you would have liked her. Everyone seemed to smile when she was in their midst.
We have her heart recipient in Phelps WI who is 66 years old. Her name is Barbara Larson and I will meet her in June 2010. She will also be here for the LOPA donor picnic at the State Fair of LA on Nov 6, 2010. I have also invited her Liver recipient Louis Smith from Gulf Port MS and his wife Charlotte who we met at the picnic last year on 11/7/2010. Brande was born 11/3/1989 and the state fair is where she spent most every birthday for the last 10 years. We have Kerry from LA who has her pancreas and right kidney, Serita from TX who has her left kidney, one man from Shreveport who has ligaments from her legs who can now walk after a motorcycle accident, and many others, including the two people in Ensenada and Tijuana Mexico I have yet to meet.
Wow. Now we celebrate one of her birthdays in Nov and so many more through her recipients. We have her hearts new birthday on April 24th, Barbara’s Dec 22 and her liver’s new birthday on April 23rd. We can now have new birthdays for her eyes and their recipients if we can find out the dates. It gives me so much to look forward to.
I am looking for employment in the field of donation, educating and supporting families faced with donation decisions. So, please if you find that your company has any openings I am a very hard worker and very passionate about what organ donation can do for everyone involved. I have worked in the public as an office manager
I would love to speak for your company on any occasion if you would just let me know. April will be a difficult month and because Brande had her accident on 4/12/2009, her accent to heaven 4/22/2009 I will have a lot to remember. The more I share about her, the better I feel inside. I will never fear her leaving only stand in awe of her accomplishments. She is my daughter, my angel, and so much more to me and so many others. What more can I say. Please read about Brande at the following web addresses where there are photos of our girl posted also.
God speed and blessings to all.
Sherry Denson Sellers
1055 Southfield Road
Shreveport, LA 71106
318-294-9051 or 318-868-7190
Friday, March 19, 2010
Friday, March 12, 2010
What Brande is doing now
I know I have not written in some time, so here is a huge update for you on what Brande is doing in my life and for others.
In October of 2009 I spoke at the Women's social at the University Club downtown Shreveport where I was supported by Southfield Moms and friends. It was great to speak for Brande and make people aware of the importance of grief counseling and organ donation.
Nov, I went to Mary Queen of Peace on HWY 71 to speak for a young man in need of a kidney transplant. I was really frightend because it was only one mile from where my Brande had her terrible auto accident that caused her death. God really carried me through this one.... Wow... I ended up speaking on Sat mass and Sunday.
Phillip and I took the boys (Myles and Reece) to Chicago on an Amtrak train one week before Christmas. We returned home on Christmas Eve. First I did not want to be home for Christmas because Brande would not be there for the first time in 20 years. Wow, what a punch in the stomach. So we decided to take the boys for snow and go to my haven in Chicago at our dear friend Paul's home where I love to hide with my family. Brande loved Paul so much and we always had a great time there. While there I called Brande's heart recipient Barbara Larson in Phelps WI. She was not doing so well. Going through a bit of depression and not understanding why God left her here I believe. She was worried I would hate her because she carries the heart of my 20 year old child. Bless her. I told her I did not care if she was one hundred and two, that if Brande gave her only one day then she accomplished what she sat out to do in life and that was to help others. After talking to Barbara I found that her dad was in the hospital in Indiana only 16 miles from Paul's home. My husband drove me there where I met her father Michael and her sister who was visiting her dad at the time. They would not let the boys in the rooms because of the N1S1 or swine flu so my hubby and kids did not get to meet them. They waited patiently for an hour or better while i got to visit and find out that it was in fact Barbara's birthday. When we returned to Paul's home I called her and wished her a happy Birthday. She told me she did not want to tell me because she knew Brande just had one in Nov. Well now she has many I said. Brande has more than one now and that is a great accomplishment in my book. Her Hearts birthday is now is April 24, and December 22. How about that. We talked for some time and she promised to make me an angel food cake when we travel to meet her in June 2010.
I am happy to say that I am working through my grief. It is hard to miss someone so much sometimes but the friends who love and support me and Brande are precious to my and my life.
I did an interview for Donate Life telling Brande's story on KTBS news on Jan 24,th 2010. I was interviewed by Sonia Bailes and assisted by Sheron Raymond from LOPA. Here is the web sight if you would like to watch the video.http://www.ktbs.com/player/?video_id=24894&zone=1&categories=1Please send this on to anyone you know.
Next, I gave up red wine for 40 days of lent. I did not do so good with other things, but one thing at a time I say. I am truly proud for making the adjustment and knowing God can give me strength.I also went to Christus Shumpert hospital on Valentines day (2/14/2010) to speak for Duane Ebarb and his group of cancer survivors. What an awesome group to speak to . They had so many questions about organ donation and took lots of literature to share with family and friends on the importance of organ donation.
Then on Saturday March 6Th I went to Sci Port science and education center in Shreveport, LA to a health and science fair where I shared information on organ donation and the importance of donation for families of organ donors and recipients too. I also met the director of the lions Eye Bank of Shreveport LA who was awesome and has agreed to try to locate the people or person who has Brande's eyes. I met people from life share blood center, gave blood and received an angel donor mug in honor of Brande who gave blood the first time on her 17Th birthday. What an awesome day for me.