Stories of Hope: Melanie Miers

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Melanie Miers attended San Bernardino High School and was very active in sports. She was on the water polo team, swim team, and cross country. Melanie was also involved with her church, Our Lady of the Rosary Cathedral, and was to be the narrator of a play that the youth were putting on for their parents. Unfortunately, the day of the play she was lying in the hospital.

Melanie was very loving and compassionate and often times put others before herself. It was Melanie’s choice to donate. In November 2005, Melanie turned sixteen and was excited about getting her driver’s license. Melanie and her sister, Michelle, informed their mother that they would like to put the pink donor dot on their driver license when they received it.

Melanie had the privilege of donating her heart, liver, kidneys and pancreas. She gave the gift of life to four recipients, one of whom was her age at the time of her donation. “The grief my family went through was just about unbearable,” said Melanie’s mother Linda. “However, through all our pain and sorrow we felt some comfort knowing that Melanie’s wish to be an organ donor was granted.”

Melanie’s family has been communicating with the recipient of her heart, Shannon, and look forward to meeting Shannon and listening to Melanie’s heartbeat as it gives Shannon life. Of the potential meeting, Linda feels a whirlwind of emotions. “We look forward to meeting Shannon, but feel a little nervous about it as well. For me to listen to Melanie’s heart beat will bring on mixed emotions of joy and sadness.” Melanie’s family has also received a letter with pictures from Angel, the liver recipient. “To see the picture of Angel before the transplant and then the picture after the transplant where he looks great and is doing well brought tears to my eyes.”

“If Melanie didn’t say anything to me about wanting to put the pink dot on her driver license, I probably would have said no because of my ignorance toward organ and tissue donation,” said Linda. “That is why I tell people now to educate themselves now,” says Linda.

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