Earlier this year, Hunt County Commissioner Steve Harrison received the Humanitarian Award from the Commerce Chamber of Commerce. Harrison was honored for serving first responders and others who struggled during last year’s ice storm, specifically delivering pallets of water bottles to first responders and starting a program to give firewood to the less fortunate, elderly, veterans, or anyone in Precinct 4 who needed wood/heat to survive the power outage.
After receiving the award, Harrison gave a special mention to his precinct for their part in serving the community.
“Just because it has my name on it, and was given to me, my guys at Precinct 4 deserve this just as much as I do!,” Harrison shared.
‘I saw a son trying to get the word out to help save his dad’s life.’
On Jan. 24 of this year, Shane Jones of Hunt County shared the following on his Facebook page:
“Friends and Family. Some of you may know that my dad, Wayne Jones, has been on dialysis going on 3 years. During this time, he has been on the donor list without any success of finding a match. It has been a long journey for him. If you or anyone you know is willing and able, we ask that you contact the Baylor donor line to see if you are a match. Please share this post so we can reach as many people as possible. We also have yard signs. Let us know if we can put one in your yard.www.livingdonordallas.org.”
Shane also went on foot asking members of the community if they would like to place signs in their yards or places of business.
Hunt County Commissioner Steve Harrison will never forget the day Shane stopped by the Precinct 4 barn.
In His Own Words…
Prior to January, I never even thought about being a living donor. Then one day Shane came by and asked if we wanted to put any signs out. He showed us the sign, which was asking for a kidney for his dad, Wayne Jones. I had met Wayne a couple of times, and I had been told about his medical condition, but I never thought anything about it. But this time it was different for me. I saw a son trying to get the word out to help save his dad’s life. It moved me more than you can imagine. One thing that stood out to me on this sign, was the blood type; it happened to be the same as mine. It hit me instantly that I needed to do something. I went home and thought about it and prayed hard and long about what should I do. I think it was a day or so later I called Shane and talked to him more about his dad’s condition and what I was willing to do. I asked him to promise me one thing: I wanted this to be kept between us.
I started the process by contacting Baylor and filling out paperwork. I then went in for multiple tests. This was a long, drawn-out process, but in short I was tested from head to toe, inside and out. I met with numerous people from Baylor and a psychologist and others to confirm I could do this. I was then taken to a committee at Baylor made up of numerous experts to determine if I could even donate. I finally got the call a few months later confirming I could donate!
The next step was to determine if I had someone to donate to, or did I want to donate anonymously. I told them I had someone and gave them Wayne’s information. My team at Baylor began working with his team to see if I was a match. His family still had no idea that there was a possible donor. A month or so later, I got the call that I was a match. So now came the day I was hoping and praying for: I would finally get to give this family some wonderful, life-changing news.
Shane and I made a plan: They would drive by my house, I’d be outside, and they would just happen to stop by.
They pulled up, and I had so many butterflies in my stomach about the news I was about to deliver. I told Wayne that he and I had a date on June 7th. Confused as to what I was talking about, he said, “Ok.” I told him we had a date on June 7th, but I had one stipulation.
“My stipulation or promise I ask is this,” I said. “If you and Glinda will promise that you will live your best life that you have left, travel, make great memories with your kids and grandkids, and just live and live life, then I will give you my kidney on June 7th.”
They obviously agreed to what I asked.
I was never scared or had one second thought on my decision. I was giving someone a chance at a quality of life again. Possibly saving his life. That was so powerful and moving to me, that I didn’t have a reason to be scared or have a second thought. How many chances in this life do you get to do something like this? From my police career to serving in the military to my current job as a County Commissioner…what I have known is serving my community/country. This decision was no different for me.
As I said early on to a few folks, I didn’t and don’t want this to be about me. I want to try and raise awareness about donating. Even if you can’t or don’t want to donate a kidney, then donate blood, get on a bone marrow donation list…something. YOU could and can help save a life; after all, wouldn’t you want the help if you or your family needed it?
For more information, contact Commissioner Harrison at email@example.com.