This article was sent to us and republished with permission by Lauren Murray, a current student McDaniel College (and Archmere Academy ‘18). She wrote this article for a class assignment.
I first met Anthony when I signed up to do a musical at St. Edmond’s Academy. I remember thinking that Anthony was such a sweet and cute little boy who I saw as a little brother. Over the years our friendship grew. St. Edmond’s had a lot of special events throughout the year, which afforded our big musical theatre group the opportunity to get together and hang out with one another. There would be dances, fundraisers, Halloween and Christmas events throughout the year and we would run around with each other. Even though I decided not to do the musical my 8th grade year, I went to the show to support my friends, and Anthony was one of them. I remember sitting on the left side of the auditorium trying to get Anthony’s attention while he was on stage. I’m pretty sure I caused him to crack a smile and that’s a smile I will never forget. It was one of those smiles you can’t help, that’s real and genuine. We had a lot of fun times doing those musicals together and sometimes I wish we could go back to those much simpler times. After I started high school, I didn’t see Anthony at all and we seemed to have lost touch over the year. Anthony ended up going to Archmere Academy, the same high school I attended. I remember watching a football game with my friends and seeing Anthony his freshman year hanging out with the soccer guys. I remember being so conflicted as to if I should go over and say hi or not. In the end I chose not to, and this is one of my biggest regrets. So, we didn’t really talk in high school until his Sophomore year when we had Chemistry together. We were lab partners a couple times throughout that year and it was nice to get reacquainted with Anthony again. He was still that sweet kid with the genuine and real smile. Anthony was an unbelievable friend and person in so many ways. He taught us the importance of being kind to everyone and living each day spreading love to everyone no matter what. Sadly, Anthony died his junior year from injuries he sustained in a motor vehicle accident while he was on the way to school. It was devastating to all of us for he touched so many people's lives. Anthony lives on in all of us, but he also impacted people he had never met. People who never knew Anthony's loving personality, his talents and his genuine and real smile.
Not only does Anthony live on in all of us, but also to those who he donated his organs to. He donated both his kidneys, his liver, corneas and bone, tissue, and skin samples. Anthony’s organ donation benefits 50 to 100 people and he saved five lives. Anthony’s decision to be an organ donor changed so many people’s lives. Almost 35,000 people in America get organ transplants each year, but a lot of people don’t receive the organ transplants they in need time to save their lives. We need as many people as possible to become organ donors, raise money and awareness for organ donation so we can save more lives each year. Many people don’t know what being an organ donor truly is. According to Donate Life NC, being an organ donor means that “you have chosen to make all of your organs available for transplant at the time of your death.” To become an organ donor, sign up when you receive your license at the DMV or you can sign up online at: www.donors1.org/learn-about-organ-donation/sign-up-to-save-lives/. Anthony’s family specifically worked with an organization called Gift of Life whose mission is, “Donate Life provides compassionate care for donors, transplant recipients, and their families, and are committed to educating the public about the need for donor registration.” Gift of Life also helps families cope with losing a loved one by offering support and love. Not only does organ donation help those in need of transplants, but also the families of those who are losing their loved one. It gives the family a sense of peace knowing that their loved one has saved and enhanced so many lives. Anthony’s impact goes much farther than the effect he had on people he knew and loved when he was alive. His selfless act will live on and will continue to spread love to future generations. To learn more about organ donation and how you can help go to: https://www.donors1.org/.
- Lauren Murray