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My Turn, Linda Beck: What is your body worth?

Writer

Linda Beck

On Dec. 3, there were several articles about “whole body donation” in the Life section of the Salisbury Post. This was particularly interesting to me, as it applies to my life.

I had been doing some research about donating my own body to a medical school. I had asked my doctor some questions and he assured me that the experience medical students have during this part of their studies is one of their most helpful learning experiences. Many folks know there may be some real lessons for medical students to learn about the numerous body issues I have suffered through.

Journey complete

I particularly loved and appreciated the letter written by a student at Elon to the donor whose body she had studied. The student who wrote this letter was Kaylee Pobocik and she expressed that her donor came “full of untold stories.”

Ms. Pobocik also speaks of the donor’s soul and peace and how “her journey may be complete.” But the company’s founding director, Diane Person, completes her portion of the article by saying “the donors are creating a legacy and in this way death is not final.”

Susan Shinn Turner opened one article as follows: “This is the time of year that we’re thinking about gifts. But contributors to any of the state’s body donation programs give the ultimate gift:  themselves.”

Thank you for these articles, which touched me as some of your best. I wish I could say I am donating my body as a “magnanimous gift.” But the comments of Barbara Riley about how her husband was a retired banker and had told her he did not want her to pay out a lot of money for a funeral reminded me of what my husband had told me about having him cremated. We had never discussed donating his body, but I expect the opportunity to study it would have been a good experience, especially for students wanting to learn more about cancer.

Planning ahead

I confess my intent is to keep my family from having to pay for a funeral. I had the opportunity to compare the cost of transporting through several different businesses. My last financial gift to my family will be my personal payment of those costs. My prayer is that at the proper time the transporter will make it as simple as possible for my family, who have suffered both emotional and physical problems of growing up with a sick mother/nana.

But I thank and praise God for the blessings He has given me through my speaking and writing experiences. Also, for the love and respect for the stories He enabled me to share — the only gift I had to give to so many kind and loyal readers who helped support the card ministry for our soldiers.

Linda Beck lives in Salisbury.

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