You Are My Sunshine

It’s been 14 years since that scary St. Patrick’s Day…the day my 9 1/2 month old daughter, Marielle, received her life-saving liver transplant.


reprinted from February 1, 1995


While waiting for progress reports during her transplant, my husband and I visited the hospital’s gift shop where I came upon a funny looking blue stuffed elephant.  I pulled his trunk and the melody, “You Are My Sunshine,” played.  This was a song I had sung to my daughter since she was born.  I bought the elephant to comfort her when she returned from the operating room.  This silly elephant was a sign for me that everything would be okay.



Portrait by EMA Photography 

Unfortunately, we no longer have the silly blue elephant.  It was given to another little girl as she went into the operating room for her new liver.  That little girl then passed it onto another child and so on.  It became a good luck charm for many children who would get a second chance at life through transplantation.

Life is Good!  Happy St. Patrick Day!




  1. This is such a lovely tory. I’m so glad you shared it. Blessings to you and your family!

  2. I’m so glad your story has a happy ending.

  3. Thank you for sharing your story. It sounds like you really paid it forward with kindness by passing the blue elephant to other children who were facing surgery. Bless you for that. 😀

  4. Congratulations on a healthy 14-year anniversary! I can only imagine how frightening that must have been for you, and I’m so happy that it turned out well. Your daughter is absolutely beautiful. ;o)

  5. Woohoo 14 years, such an inspiration!

  6. what a wonderful story. 14 years is a great accomplishment and I imagine there will be many many more landmarks to a long healthy life.

  7. Hi Lisa….
    Oh how I know the feeling……
    My oldest (of 4 children) will be 30 in August, when she was 18 she was diagnosed with a Brain Tumor. That was 12 years ago! How time flies! She is getting married, July 19, for the first time!
    Each of my children are a blessing and a gift to me.
    It is amazing, when each of mychildren are born…I am sure every mother does this….I made sure my children are born with 2 eyes, nose, mouth, fingers, toes….etc….all in tact….at that momemt of their birth I did not think of ‘hat could go wrong in their future. We, as mothers have been gifted with the strength to overcome, for our children’s sakes these hurdles we have to jump over with our children.
    With 4 children, I am an olympic type hurdler…..I can leap and bound over the tallest buildings….LOL
    back to my sewing…

  8. Wonderful story!! Congratulations on such a happy 14th aniversary.

  9. What a gorgeous story Lisa …..every time I hear my mother sing my girls that song I think of your story … think if I stand in front of the mirror and sing myself that song enough I can end up as gorgeous as Marielle ????

    ( hoping hoping hoping )

  10. Wonderful story…it brought tears to my eyes!
    Bless you all :))

  11. She is a blessing. And she’s gorgeous too!

  12. Your daughter is beautiful! I was glancing through all your categories as each one is so interesting, but was surprised to see the category “liver transplant.” My husband had one in 2001 and it was entirely life consuming – many months before and probably a year after. I ended up being his donor! Isn’t modern medicine amazing?


  1. […] May 22, 2008 My Sunshine Girl has been hospitalized since last night.  The doctors are not sure what is causing her problems […]

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