Now That Deserves A Parade

Lynn Livingston and her daughters are taking advantage of every opportunity to promote organ donation.

The parade isn’t exactly for her but Lynn Livingston is making every opportunity count. It was at an annual parade where her story actually began.

“I donated blood to get a Colts t-shirt and then I got the letter,” said Livingston, a resident of Plainfield. She was attending the community’s annual Quaker Day Parade. A week later she got a letter from the Indiana Blood Center informing her that her liver enzymes were elevated. A doctor’s visit followed, along with months of testing. In October 2001 Livingston was diagnosed with Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis. (PSC). The chronic disease is known to damage the bile ducts – the digestive liquid made in the liver. On May 27, 2008 she received a liver transplant.

Married to Dave Livingston, the couple has two adult children. Brooke is a fourth-grade teacher in Plainfield, and Britton, is a nurse who works in the same unit at IU Health University Hospital where her mother received her transplant.

Fast-forward to September 22, Livingston will again attend her annual hometown parade. This time, she will display a sign that reads: “I receive a liver. 5-27-08.” Her daughters will carry signs that read: “My mom received a liver. 5-27-08.”

“Lynn has been a dedicated advocate with the Indiana Donor Network for nearly a decade, volunteering hundreds of hours to raise awareness about this importance of organ, eye and tissue donation,” said Corinne Osinski-Carey with the Indiana Donor Network. “Each year, she spearheads organizing participation in the Quaker Day parade. Her enthusiasm for this event has helped us touch thousands of Hoosiers throughout the year.”

In addition to the parade, Livingston is known for volunteering countless hours at events creating awareness for the importance of organ donation. She speaks to high school and college students, community organizations, church groups and concert crowds. At one event she helped register more than 100 new donors in a single evening (the state average is 71 percent of licensed drivers are registered organ donors).

“I would say the highlight for me and one of my favorite things is mentoring and helping others going through the transplant process, said Livingston, who maintains a social media page called Lynn’s Transplant Groupies.  “I have helped so many patients and their families before, during and after transplant, be it what they should expect right after transplant, or things that can help them at home to make their healing process easier.”

— By T.J. Banes, Associate Senior Journalist at IU Health.
   Reach Banes via email