2015 FBLA November Meeting
BY: DIANE KRUSE
On November 10th the FBLA chapter hosted two speakers for their monthly meeting. Janet Bemis was the first speaker. Janet and her husband Milton lost a child at the age of two after he wandered off. Their son fell into a lake close to where the family was having a BBQ. Once Matthew Bemis was declared brain dead; Milton and Janet both knew that they wanted to donate his organs. At the same time of Matthew’s passing, Lily Mandel (14 months) was on the verge of dying. Lily, who was living in Tucson, AZ, was suffering from a benign liver tumor. The fluid build-up in Lily’s abdomen was so severe that her small body could no longer support it, and she was unable to breathe on her own. It was a difficult decision, but the Bemis’ decided to have Matthew be an organ donor. Part of his kidney was transplanted in Lily.
Lily’s Mom was told that she would have 5 years to live. Lily has far surpassed that, in 2008 Lily married Brian Allen in New York. The Bemis’ were in attendance at Lily’s wedding and recognized as her “donor parents”. It is highly unusual for organ donors to know who the recipients of organs are.
The Nebraska Organ Recovery System approached the Bemis’ in 2008 about being a part of the Rose Bowl Parade in Pasadena, California. The NORS wanted to honor the Bemis family with a floragraph on that year’s Donate Life Float in the Rose Parade. After much consideration, the Bemis family, Lily, and Lily’s doctor all had a part in making Matthew’s floragraph.
We ended our meeting with our second speaker of the night, Cecilia Cassis, a foreign exchange student from Italy. Ceci is living with Paul and Robin Koehler, and their daughter Kendyl. Ceci is a Senior at OHS and is active in many organizations; volleyball, basketball, FBLA and FCCLA.
Ceci informed the chapter members all about her home country through the use of a presentation shown on the SmartBoard. This was exciting for the members to see pictures of places that were important in Ceci’s life.
Ceci told the members about a couple of the major cities in Italy and showed the members where they were located on a map of Italy. She also spoke of the religions that are most popular; such as Vatican City in Rome. Audiences of thousands of people go there daily, and she had been there earlier this year.
She mentioned the diverse cuisine that is in Italy. She showed pictures of some of her favorite foods. To conclude the presentation, Ceci showed a Google Map comparison of her hometown, and Norfolk, NE.
The final part of the Feed Nebraska donations took place at this meeting also. Members of the classes competed to see which class donated the most items—the winning class was the Freshman. A total of 165.2 pounds of canned/boxed items and paper goods were given to the local Food Pantry.
The FBLA concluded their meeting with some matters of business and then adjourned.