A favorite quote of Tori's mom is, "We may not have it all together, but together we have it all." This life of theirs is a rollercoaster. They've been through more than most of us may ever have to deal with, but they take it day by day, together, as a family.
There was one day in March that will stick with me forever. Tori had a fever and I could tell she was feeling pretty crummy and she wasn't her happy, normal self. We were cuddled up watching TV together, and as she started to fall asleep on my chest, one small silent tear rolled down her cheek.
That one little tear put so much into perspective for me. I realized the things I complained about and thought were bad in my life, were so insignificant.
Here's this little, helpless baby, who is going through more of a struggle than I may ever have to deal with in my entire life, and she is only one year old.
Despite what she has to deal with every day; hospital visits, blood draws, feeding tubes, fevers, and pain, Tori is the most delightful, joyous, sweet, funny, loving little human being I have ever been around. I have no idea what Tori feels day to day dealing with this disease, and probably will never know, because hopefully she won't remember all of this.
She smiles, plays, eats, walks, laughs, and lives her life like nothing is wrong. Going into this adventure, I would have never thought a baby would be able to teach me anything. But she has, and I know her infectious personality will continue to touch each person that has the joy of meeting her.
Tori may never know what she has done for me, but she has changed my life. I find myself being more positive and complaining less. I count my blessings more, a big one of those being Tori and her sister Ella.
I started volunteering with the Center for Organ Recovery and Education where our goal is to get people to sign up to be organ donors (Sign up. You can save lives like Tori's.). I have also decided to go back to school to obtain a nursing degree so I can someday take care of babies like Tori.
There are a lot of things I am thankful for, but this year I add to my list: my little buddy, Tori, and her family.
For more information on Tori's journey visit www.torisliver.com.
To learn more about organ donation and how to become an organ donor visit www.core.org.
Mary Margaret George is a native of Charleston pursuing a nursing