Donor's mom is a volunteer not concerned about salaries, finances of organ procurers
Malinda Sherid can recite the states where her daughter's organs went when she died at 16 as a result of a car crash.
“Her liver is in the Philadelphia area. One kidney is in New Jersey. The other kidney is in Ohio,” said Sherid, 59, of Greensburg.
More than 12 years after the death of her daughter, Kim Cecchini, in February 2001 from head injuries, Sherid finds comfort in knowing that her donated organs, tissue and corneas helped about 100 people across the United States.
To help cope with her grief, Sherid became a volunteer for the Center for Organ Recovery & Education in O'Hara.
“If I had the smallest bit of doubt that my daughter being a donor was going to go for profit, I would have never given consent,” Sherid said. “The big picture was that I had lost my daughter and there was nothing I could do to bring her back. But if I could prevent one other mother from going through any little bit of grief that I went through, by donating, that's what I had to do.”
Sherid calls herself a “donor mom,” a title she learned to embrace in the months after the crash.
Sherid was driving her Cadillac and picked up Kim from Greensburg Salem High School, where she was a sophomore honor student. The car skidded on black ice, and a school van hit them broadside.
Sherid suffered a concussion. The decision to give Kim's organs fell partly to her son and family, who relied on Kim's decision to donate when she applied for a driver's permit.
CORE officials said they always share with donor families an extensive list of body parts they can agree to donate. A two-page authorization form includes a list of 31 categories, from organs such as the liver and stomach to skin, tendons and saphenous veins. It also lists parts used only for research..
CORE CEO Susan Stuart said transplant coordinators provide as much information as families want. She acknowledged that it's often impossible to provide detail such as how tissue banks might process bone and that it can be sold to hospitals as cubes, chips or wedges for surgical use.
“It's all in the authorization, but we don't sit there and say it could go into a cube,” Stuart said. “This is a family that's grieving, and you have to use a lot of sensitivity.”
Only about 3 percent of patients who die in hospitals meet the criteria to become donors, Stuart said.
An average of 18 people die every day waiting for organs.
“We believe donation is what gives our donor families hope,” she said.
Within three months of Kim's death, Sherid received a letter from one of her daughter's organ recipients. She found it healing to know that a woman in Philadelphia was able to enjoy her grandson because she received Kim's liver.
“It's just a miracle when you stop and think about the big picture,” she said.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Transportation funding uncertainty impacts planning for Western Pa.
- Lawsuit: Pittsburgh Public Schools should have known officer was abusing boys
- Montour Trail gets needed updates
- Newsmaker: Derek Wesley
- Highmark asks patients to ‘Meet Dr. Right’
- 2 from Carrick charged in connection with rash of heroin overdoses
- Teachers union advises lawyers for colleagues of Plum pair investigated on sex charges
- Development could soon be booming in West End
- Trib Total Media Outstanding Young Citizen Awards presents scholarship, 10 gold medals
- Voters wishing to cast ballot in May 19 primary must register by Monday
- Urban designers share ideas for revitalization of Hazelwood, Downtown