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Every family that, in the face of heart-wrenching loss, discovers the boundless grace and compassion to grant their CONSENT for their beloved's organs to be donated and grant life to strangers are nothing short of heroes.

I owe my life to one such family. During a time when most families revel in the joy of Christmas, the New Year, or the Australian summer, two families in Sydney endured an agonizing separation from someone they cherished deeply. One due to illness, the other due to tragedy. They couldn't be by their loved one's side, nor could they express their love.

One family received the call every family prays for in such circumstances, while the other received the call every family dreads.

Deprived of the chance to hold their dear one's hand and say goodbye, or convey the depths of their grief, one family displayed an extraordinary love and compassion by granting the vital next of kin consent to donate their loved one's organs. In that moment, they initiated a chain of hope amid their own sorrow.

Though I may never meet my donor hero or express my gratitude to their compassionate family, I carry their spirit within me, proudly walking through life every day.

It's because I was gifted a miraculous second chance and my family received the call that brought me home that I implore every family who says YES to recognize them as the life-saving heroes they truly are.

Don't wait for a second chance to acknowledge these heroes. Have that vital conversation with your family today, and contemplate whether, in that fateful moment of tragedy, you can summon the grace and courage to bid farewell to a special someone and consent to save the lives of strangers.

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