strength – life – sacrifice
April 1 – 30, 2016
Leea Dilling is a photography student at BYU Idaho who has just completed her BFA. For her senior project, she wanted to highlight the importance of organ donation. Here is a link to her pictures in book form: http://www.mixbook.com/photo-books/interests/bfa-book-13162130?vk=9uCgwu59mE.
April is National Donate Life Month. For more information please visit http://donatelife.net/ndlm/.
Six years ago I found myself in a position I never imagined being in; my dad needed a liver transplant and I was his medical decision maker. When a person’s liver begins to fail the toxins in their body build up and can cause them to no longer be lucid. This happened to my Dad and it became my responsibility to decide for him whether or not he would get treatment to sustain his life before and after transplant. The experience my family and I went through changed how we look at organ donation and transplantation. Unfortunately my dad’s life was only prolonged by a few months because of his liver transplant. But those months meant so much to my family and me. Now 6 years later and I find myself re-visiting my experiences through these photographs. Every person who participated in this project went through things that were unimaginable at different ages, including me. I came to realize that organ donation and transplantation can and may have an affect on anyone at anytime in life. It is my hope to reach those who do not fully understand organ donation and to share the stories of a few whose lives will be forever transformed because of it.
My images are a glimpse into the lives of people who have been similarly changed through either being a recipient, a donor, or the family of one of these. Each story is unique and I found solace in each experience that related to mine. Being able to connect with this community of people I had never met, enhanced each image as they willingly shared with me their involvement with organ donation and transplantation. As my project progressed I realized that all of my participants had immense strength and I hoped would show through each image. My photographs represent families and individuals whose lives have been altered by the selfless decision of organ donation.