You Wanna Go Where!?
By Lynn Betsanes
A few years ago I heard about some anatomy students that were going to ‘Cadaver Camp’ at Northern Illinois University. There they got to dissect and learn on people that had donated their bodies for that purpose. I was so envious that these high school students got to experience this! I totally wished I could do something like that as well.
My opportunity came along when my daughter Joan’s friends announced that their class was going for three days in January 2013. After telling them that I wanted to go they said they would put me on the list for chaperoning. Since I didn’t have a student in the class I wasn’t sure if the teacher would allow it. She did find it a little bizarre that I wanted to chaperone other people’s kids when mine wasn’t going but she said as long as I had students in the school it would be ok. WOW! I was going to cadaver camp! My duties included, but were not limited to, rising early in the mornings to help get everyone where they needed to be and keeping long, late night hours to help keep them where they needed to stay but the tradeoff was so worth it!
When we arrived on Wednesday night we checked into the hotel and then headed for the lab. We were met by Professor Olson, the man in charge of the program. He explained all of the rules and procedures and informed us that we were the only school that actually gets to dissect the cadavers. All of the other schools that will be coming from now through May will only come for a day and observe the work that our students have done! To be a part of that in and of itself was an honor. I was a little nervous about what to expect and I was hoping that I was as brave as I professed to be. It turns out I was and once the work started I became so fascinated with the intricate vessels, muscles and nerves and how the body works that I forgot about being squeamish.
The people who have donated their bodies are treated with the utmost respect and I was very proud of the maturity and knowledge the students possessed. Seeing pictures in books can teach a lot but actually seeing how everything is connected and how it works was absolutely awesome! I truly cannot imagine how somebody can examine the human anatomy and how it functions and not believe in God. There is no way, in my opinion, that the delicate and intricate work of art known as the human body was created by chance. Our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit and the way they function is nothing short of a miracle!
Some people thought I was crazy for wanting to go to cadaver camp and I guess it does seem kind of weird. Though seeing God’s creation and how it works from the inside out isn’t weird at all! The human body is an amazing machine and I respect it more now than ever before. But more importantly, I realize that it is a gift. It should be used as Christ taught, to help and serve others during our lives and sometimes ~ as these generous donors have done ~ even in death!