Be A Hero. Be an Organ Donor
Yasmin Mullings. Baby Ryley. Wolfgang Muller. Ivy Ashworth-Crees. What do they have in common? Their lives were saved by a hero: an organ donor. Someone they had never met, but who cared enough about other people to donate their own organs upon their death.
Are you a registered organ donor? Why not?
According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, in August 2017 116,000 people needed an organ donation in the US alone. Each day, 20 people die while waiting for a transplant that never comes. And while 95% of US adults support organ donation, only 54% are registered. Even Spain, known as a European success story, has only 40 donors registered per million people. Wherever you are, register now and make a difference.
Why Become an Organ Donor?
Healthy organs from one person can save 8 lives. How? One heart + 2 lungs + 1 liver + 1 pancreas + 2 kidneys + 1 intestine = 8 lives saved. And that doesn’t count the lives improved by donated corneas, skin, bone marrow, and more.
From the bigger view of society, donating saves money as well as lives. The average cost of a kidney transplant and the medications required afterwards is far less than the cost of ongoing dialysis. And just imagine the difference in that transplant recipient’s quality of life!
Who can donate?
Almost anyone can be an organ donor. The oldest donor in the US on record was 93 years old! Male or female, any age, any nationality….anyone can donate. Even people with chronic conditions can probably donate some of their organs. The transplant team will decide. And that old myth that homosexuals can’t be organ donors? It’s just that, a myth. All that’s needed is healthy organs and the willingness to register.
Speaking of which…
How do I become an organ donor?
Registering as an organ donor is easy. In many European countries, people must actively choose not to be an organ donor. In others, like the US and UK, you have to opt in. It’s easy. In the US, visit www.organdonor.gov. It all takes about 10 minutes. You can also register at your local Department of Motor Vehicles, and many states list your organ donor status on your driver’s license. In the UK, register via the NHS.
Tell your friends and family about your choice. Include the information in your advanced medical directive (‘living will’). Leave instructions for the person you designate as your health care decision maker, so they can honor your wishes.
Be a Hero
Only 3 people in 1000 die in a way that allows organ collection. The waiting list for transplants grows faster than the number of available donors every day. Sign up and become a life saver now!
Images via https://organdonor.gov/