2016 Transplant and Organ Donation Calendar: Emily Mahon
Emily Mahon, 24, doesn't let her medical condition define her.
She was born with a mitochondrial disorder that prevents her body from absorbing nutrition. At age 2, Emily began intravenous nutrition that took 12 hours to receive each night. Still, nutritionally, her body could not support her organs and her liver began to fail. She was listed for a liver transplant at age 5. Just a few days after her sixth birthday, Emily received a life-saving liver transplant. She remembers both her mom and newborn brother Ben staying with her in the hospital.
Though her liver is functioning very well, she still faces many challenges caused by her mitochondrial disorder. She is legally blind, requires a central line to receive nutrition and had a small intestine transplant and frequent hospitalizations, but she doesn't let these issues stop her from helping others and being the person she aspires to be every day.
Emily runs four annual blood drives at her church and is involved in other charitable activities. "Over the years I have received a lot of blood," says Emily. "When I found out they needed a volunteer to run the blood drive, I thought, if I weren't doing it, then who would? I know how important blood donation is, I just didn't realize how many people need it."
Emily is devoted to her family and also recognizes their role in her courage to move forward despite her illness. "We were raised in a house where that is what you do – you help other people," says Emily. "If someone needs help – you just do it." Her siblings, Bailey and Ben, are a source of inspiration to her as well. "I keep on pushing in part for Bailey and Ben," says Emily. "They are really important to me."
Emily is quick to note that her medical condition doesn't define her character. "There's a lot I can't do because I don't have the energy or strength," says Emily, "but there's a lot I can do." Her courage is an inspiration to all who know her. "This is the only life I've known," says Emily, "I can't imagine living it any other way."