Someone once said, “If you’re born red, you’d better be born good, because there is no way you’ll ever be anonymous.” Upon first meeting our little red head, Emily, one might think she was quite a shy little girl. On second glance, however, one could see the enthusiasm, vitality and intelligence behind those sparkling blue eyes. She had the ability to march to the tune of her own drummer in a courageous, vibrant, passionate way, with an awe-inspiring conviction that quietly demanded respect. Emily lived more in her twenty short years than most people do in a lifetime.
In life, Emily was extremely active. She enjoyed tennis, camping, fishing, skiing, hiking and being outdoors in general. Creative by nature – photography and music were always near and dear to her heart. As she got older, that same creativity led her toward her career path. In college, Emily majored in Graphic Design with an emphasis in Media Arts. By day, she carried a full load of classes at California State University, Chico, and by night she was an integral part of the team producing television news for California’s northern valley. Ambitious, determined and eager to pursue her career in Media Arts, Emily was prepared to graduate from college a semester early.
Her vitality was most felt by those around her. A friend of Emily’s once said, “Her flaming red hair and the freckles on her face were rays of sunshine that never wanted to leave her side.”
Everyone she touched in life will forever remember her warmth, her vibrant smile, her caring nature and the compassion behind her eyes.
Emily was a champion for the underdog, and an advocate for fairness. When she thought people were not being treated with fairness or respect, she did what she could to make the appropriate changes. When Emily thought that her colleagues at work were not being given adequate compensation for their duties, she did what she could to bring about change.
Her boss at the television station recalled that in the course of a formal meeting with Emily, her “courage, intelligence and sensitivity literally blew (him) away.” He recalled that Emily’s meeting with him resulted in the reorganization of the entire news production team, and raises for fifteen people. He said that the result of that meeting.”…. was like a thunderbolt going through the station and measurably improved (their) on-air look and performance.”
As her family, our memories of Emily will forever be cherished. Her spirit and passion surround us on a daily basis. We our comforted, as a family, knowing that through organ donation, other families are able to find joy, peace and renewed life. Organ donation seems a fitting legacy to Emily’s passion for making a difference in the lives of others.