Saturday, January 18, 2014

Blair's Legacy

Blair Michaela Shanahan Lane was a "saucy and bossy" preteen with a contagious zest for life and compassion for those around her. She was known around the neighborhood as kind and loving, and was quick to organize and arrange community events. Observant and helpful, Blair noticed that each time a new foster child was brought to her home, they had toys and stuffed animals but came with no necessities- not even socks. Blair was determined to make a difference and be a voice for those in need. She decided that she would start a Foster Socks program and collect socks for foster children as part of her requirements for earning a Girl Scout Gold Award, a project that most young women complete as seniors in high school. Blair's passion was unstoppable and she began to fill journals and notebooks with her ideas and plans. Unfortunately, she would never see her project come to life.

On July 4, 2011, Blair was playing outside with her family in her yard when she suddenly collapsed. She had been tragically shot by a stray bullet that was fired in celebration of the holiday from over a thousand feet away. During her one night stay in the hospital, hundreds of visitors in the community she had so strongly supported and participated in visited Blair, but unfortunately the injuries were too severe and Blair passed away on July 5th at the age of eleven years old.

Blair's family made the generous and loving decision to donate her organs to up to six unknown people between the ages of 6 and 60. Despite the horrible accident, Blair's tenderness and sense of selflessness toward others would carry on through this courageous act of kindness from her family.

Since her daughter's untimely passing, Blair's mother has been a determined and loving warrior of Blair's cause. Aware of what it meant to her daughter to make sure that helpless children were provided for, Michele Shanahan DeMoss continued the Foster Socks program and website in Blair's honor and has helped to raise awareness for organ and tissue donation as well as petitioning for Blair's Law, which would make it a felony to recklessly fire a gun within a municipality of Missouri.

In 2013, Michele proudly rode on the Donate Life Rose Parade float and even more incredibly, on April 18, 2013, she met the recipient of her daughter's heart, a young man named Andrew, and was able to hear it beating inside of his chest.

 Blair's mother, Michele, with organ recipient Andrew

This week, Blair would have celebrated another birthday. While we will never know all of the incredible things she would have done if not for that fateful July day, we do know of all the truly inspiring and amazing accomplishments that have been achieved in her honor. Blair may no longer be with us, but her message and her mission live on. We are reminded that integrity, compassion, and giving are vital components of a life well lived, and in honor of Blair we continue to carry jewelry that sponsors her dreams. To view the original cause jewelry, click here. For our newest listing, click here.

In honor of Blair, please consider organ and tissue donation. The gift of life is precious- pass it on.

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