Here in the U.S., we make an important decision the day we apply for a driver’s license. It’s usually the first time we’re confronted with the question, “Do you want to be an organ donor?” There’s a simple check box for yes or no, and for most people, believe it or not, the answer is simple too: no thanks. Herein lies a problem that affects hundreds of thousands—the lack of organ availability. Both in the U.S. and around the world.
A Love Worth Giving centers on two newlyweds from the U.K., Sam and Luke, and their struggle to find a suitable donor for a lung transplant. Diagnosed with degenerative lung disease at 6 months old, Sam led an energetic life that few could have imagined for her—graduating from university, becoming a school teacher and marrying the love of her life, Luke. As her health begins to worsen shortly after their marriage, the doctors tell them that Sam’s only hope for survival is a new pair of lungs. In 2013, after three years of false alarms and many hospitals stays, Sam is unable to find a donor and sadly passes away. Luke, forced to grapple with the loss, turns to painting to channel his grief. After a year of reflection and acceptance, Luke finds the courage to tell the story on camera and finish the documentary. What started as a film about going through an organ transplant became a tragic love story, filled with hopes, struggles and unexpected loss.
Directed by James A. Newton, A Love Worth Giving hopes to encourage people to consider donating their organs to those in need. "I made this film in the end from a place of grief about my best friends,” Newton says. “When Sam died waiting for an organ donor, I felt angry that she got so close. I realized the best way to help was to actually tell their story and show the world why people need organ donors. My hope is that people watch their story and consider giving their organs when they no longer need them."
A Love Worth Giving will be making its world premiere at the Rhode Island International Film Festival on Friday, August 7. The documentary is support by several notable charities, including the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, Live Life Give Life and Dying Matters. All are working together with the film’s team to spread awareness and create a meaningful impact. Visit their website to find out more about the film and the cause.