Got something great in the mail today! #organdonor
No, it wasn’t the eBay package I am expecting with the obscure Disney item my daughter wants for Christmas. And it wasn’t the pair of new Fall boots I ordered from Zappos.com. It wasn’t even the most recent Kohl’s catalogue with the peel off coupon (come on 30%!)
I went to the DMV two weeks ago to finally change my license to my married name. I made a very important decision that day. No, it wasn’t to beg the (insert sarcastic tone) cheerful clerk to use my latest “selfie” for my updated license photo – though the picture would have been a lot more flattering than the one they took. It was actually something I am pretty happy about. I became an organ donor.
I am not writing this for “what a good person you are” comments. I just want to share some statistics and let you know how easy it is to potentially change someone’s life. FOREVER.
The Need for Organ Donors in the United States:
• More than 118,000 people are waiting for organ transplants in the United States.
• Of these, more than 96,000 await kidneys; more than 15,000 need livers; and more than 3,400 need hearts.
• Others also need pancreas (more than 1,100), lungs (more than 1,600) and intestines (more than 200). Some patients need both a kidney and a pancreas (more than 2,000).
• In 2012, a total of 6,115 patients died while waiting for organ transplants. On average, 18 people died each day because of the shortage of donated organs.
• A new name is added to the national organ transplant waiting list every 10 minutes.
Data is provided by the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN)/Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (SRTR)/United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS). April 12, 2013. Data is subject to change.
There is so much to learn about organ donation. I am simply offering a very short introduction to this life-saving act. I strongly encourage you to learn more about it.
To be honest, I always thought the whole process was a little creepy. Parts of me living on inside a total stranger – that’s weird, right? Then, my father –in-law was in dire need of a kidney transplant. This man needed the help of another person to continue to be the loving husband, fun-loving father and doting “grampie” he has always been.
After a long time of waiting to receive the news, one day the phone call finally came. “Stop what you are doing and come straight to the hospital – we have a match and you are next on the list.”
With that, my father-in-law received new life with the passing of a young man who decided to be an organ donor. The tragic accident that took his life, gave new life to my father-in-law. And for this, we are eternally grateful to this man and his family.
I don’t know if there is anything worth offering in this beat up pile of bones I have, but if there is, I hope someone can use something to live a better life when it is my time to go. And, by the way, even though I committed myself to organ donation prior to going to the DMV that day, checking “yes” on the form still felt a little weird, but it was a weird worth feeling. And, I am used to feeling weird anyway.
So, no Christmas gift for Maggie. No boots. No Kohl’s coupon. Just my new license – and one day (fingers crossed, a long time from now!), a new chance at life for someone who needs it.