With two active children and a career that keeps her traveling the southeast, Rachel McHann’s life had always overflowed with to-dos. She loved attending softball and basketball games and hitting the road for a busy week of work advocating for organ donation. She would have never dreamed that one day she’d find herself in need of a transplant, just like many of the patients she encountered in her work.

In March of 2020, as the world was slowing down, Rachel was enjoying more time at home with her family. On a bright, spring day she headed towards a nearby running trail for an afternoon jog when a tree branch scratched her eye. Two days later, Rachel woke up in severe pain and was unable to see from her right eye. After weeks of doctor visits, she learned that she would need a corneal transplant.

When Rachel opened her eyes and was able to see again, she knew that her life had been forever changed by this gift. “To actually open my eye and be able to see again,” Rachel recalled, “not to be so light sensitive or in pain, was humbling.”

Rachel now lives her life in honor of her donor, focusing on the small pieces of her life she might not have noticed before receiving this gift, like driving for work or walking the family dog.

“I find myself on a beautiful day outside closing my eye and seeing the world through my donor eye,” Rachel remarked. “So that I can always remember what a gift it is to be able to see, and how someone can truly make an impact in a stranger’s life.”

You can make a difference in someone else’s life by becoming an organ, eye and tissue donor at registerme.org.

See more of Rachel’s story here.

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