That's Lauderdale

Island child's dream stays alive with a few Trew Friends

dlauderdale@islandpacket.comMarch 29, 2012 

  • Trew Friends Fourth Annual Blood Drive, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Hilton Head Preparatory School's Joseph B. Fraser Jr. Field House, 8 Fox Grape Road. To make an appointment, go to www.igiveblood.com or contact Chris Heyburn at 843-422-5385 or chris@theheathertrewfoundation.org.

Can we talk?

It's not the easiest thing to do, especially when it involves death -- perhaps unexpected, tragic, cruel death.

But talk we must.

That's the way one woman in our community sees it.

Judy Trew of Hilton Head Island has dedicated her life to urging family talks like the one she and her husband, Dwight, had with their daughter before she died.

Heather Trew made them do it. She forced her parents to talk about organ donation.

Heather was born on Hilton Head in 1987, a healthy and bubbly child. But a single bite of an undercooked hamburger when she was 7 led to years of severe health problems. As a teenager Heather received a kidney donated by her aunt. Judy Trew says it gave Heather her life back. She got off the dialysis machine and poured more of her contagious energy into the cause of organ donation.

Through music and jewelry design, Heather reached out to anyone who would listen. She passed out little pins with a card attached to urge organ donation.

Heather's diagnosis may have been grim, but she wasn't. She was actually doing well before her health took a sudden turn. She died days before her 20th birthday.

"At that moment, dealing with the loss of a child, I was unable to make ANY decisions," Judy Trew says today. "I realize now that everyone who has discussed organ donation with their family has given them a huge gift."

Judy and Dwight Trew established the Heather Trew Foundation for Organ Donation and Research to advance their daughter's dream.

It is establishing Trew Friends chapters at high schools and colleges statewide and beyond to let young people know that more than 110,000 people nationwide are waiting for organ transplants to keep them alive.

Hilton Head Preparatory School, where Heather was a student, was the first to establish a Trew Friends high school chapter.

On Saturday, the Trew Friends Fourth Annual Blood Drive will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Prep's Joseph B. Fraser Jr. Field House. While giving blood, people can learn about the need for organ, eye and tissue donation.

Trew Friends wants young people to have that talk with their families, even if it is uncomfortable.

The blood drive is an upbeat occasion because the Trew family knows that giving is receiving. Heather believed that every person who needs a transplant should receive one.

Think about it.

Talk about it.

Do something about it.

Related content

  1. The Heather Trew Foundation for Organ Donation and Research
  2. The Blood Alliance
  3. LifePoint Organ and Tissue Donation Services for S.C.

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