This weekend we loaded up the car and drove to Wisconsin to hang out with my mom's side of the family -- outside of a wedding for once! It was such a fun night!
We were there to celebrate a milestone for my cousin Mark. He's just made it 25 years since having a heart transplant, which puts him in an exclusive group of heart transplant survivors who have made it that long. He was only seventeen when he had the transplant, after being diagnosed with cardiomyopathy just a few months before.
It was 1987, and Mark was very sick, but refused to stay home from his senior prom, which was being held on a boat. He donned a tux and joined his date aboard, even though his parents say he was noticeably weak. That night, a teenager died in an auto accident, and his parents donated his organs. His heart would go to Mark. The hospital called Mark's parents, and they spent an hour trying to get a hold of the boat. Eventually, they managed to flag it down on the radio, and it pulled in close to shore so that Mark could wade out to a waiting state trooper car in his tux. He went to the hospital straight from prom and underwent the transplant that saved his life.
Twenty-five years later, he's married to my cousin Jamie, and father to two little girls. He lives a completely normal life and loves chocolate. He is awesome. And so was the party Jamie threw for him--an 80's prom on a boat! Most people attending dressed up (the fun people, anyway).
It was a BLAST!
|Me, Pete, and my sister Abbie (and my cousin Kathy)|
|Pete and I decided to get the dancing started school dance-style|
|Pete and me on the boat|
|My cousin Matt in the shorts with his wife Brenda, and my cousin Jamie dancing with Mark|
|Mark and Jamie (Mark had a garter around his arm and Jamie was wearing an Olympic jacket of Mark's from the 80's (he was an AMAZING athlete in high school before the transplant)|
|Pete and my cousin Matt sharing a tender dance|
|Pete getting handsy and grabbing Matt's fanny...pack|