With the holidays behind us, it is wonderful to know the opportunity for giving and receiving knows no season…
When you become an organ, eye and tissue donation provider, you are giving a second chance at life to thousands of people each year. You have the opportunity to be one of the individuals who make miracles happen at any time.
At Eternal Reefs, we believe that organ, eye and tissue donation is one of the greatest gifts one can provide as a last act. The more people that provide these donations, the better chance we all have at finding a match if we, or our loved ones, have a need for transplant. The value of this donation cannot be stressed enough. You can save up to 8 lives through organ donation and enhance many others through tissue and eye donation. Last year alone, organ donors made more than 28,000 transplants possible. Another one million people received corneal and other tissue transplants that helped them recover from trauma, bone damage, spinal injuries, burns, hearing impairment and vision loss. However, 22 people die each day waiting for transplants that can’t take place because of the shortage of donated organs. You have the power to change that.
By deciding to be a donor, you give the gift of hope…hope for thousands of individuals awaiting organ transplants and hope for the millions of individuals whose lives could be enhanced through tissue or corneal transplants…and what better gift is there? It’s free, it’s easy and most of us can gift it regardless of age, race, religion or medical history. All people regardless of age should consider themselves potential donors. There are few absolute issue that will cause you to be turned down as a donor (such as HIV infection, active cancer, and systemic infection) and no strict upper or lower limits on age. Potential donors are evaluated for suitability at the time of death. The condition of your organs is more important than age. For example, someone 35 years old with a history of alcohol abuse may have a liver that is in worse condition than someone 60 years old who never consumed alcohol. Doctors will examine your organs and determine whether they are suitable for donation at the time of your death. If you are under 18, you may need the permission of a parent or guardian to become a donor.
Every state provides access to a donor registry where its residents can indicate their decision. The most important thing to do is to sign up as an organ and tissue donor in your state’s donor registry. (Sign Up On Your State’s Donor Registry). To cover all the bases, it’s also helpful to:
- Designate your decision on your driver’s license
- Tell your family about your donation decision
- Tell your physician, faith leader, and friends
- Include donation in your advance directives, will and living will
What if you want to donate organs but not tissue? You can decide and make that call when you sign up to be a donor.
Outside the U.S. countries have widely varying laws surrounding organ and tissue donation – a few have no laws at all. In many countries, every citizen is considered a donor unless he chooses to opt out while he is still alive. In the United States, citizens must specifically consent. But each U.S. state has its own laws determining what that really means. Donate Life America offers a great resource for anyone seeking to register as an organ or tissue donor – or anyone who wants to define what the gift should be.
You have the opportunity to make a difference. Tissues improve the quality of peoples’ lives…and in some cases, yes, they even save them. Heart valves are in short supply, for instance. Skin is used as a cover for severe burns – it works better than any synthetic covering when those burns cover a majority of the body – and to help slow-healing diabetic foot ulcers. Corneas can be used to help someone see again. Bone can be milled into implants that correct spinal deformities.
Does donating for research compromise your ability to be a transplant donor? No. The gift of life through organ and tissue transplant donation is one of the most precious gifts that someone can give. There are, however, instances when tissues and organs cannot be used for transplantation, but your donation can give hope and promise to medical research. NDRI (http://ndriresource.org) works closely with eye, organ and tissue procurement organizations to ensure that all organs needed for transplantation are retrieved first, and then non-transplanted donated tissues are utilized for research.
There is nothing greater than gifting life…and when we can contribute to it freely and from the heart, beautiful things happen – life goes on.
Below is a short movie created by the Liver Transplant Foundation of Argentina. Its goal is to present the positive effects of organ donation. It’s about the everyday life of a grown man and his dog. The man is an organ donor and one day he is taken to the hospital because of a unexpected health problem. His dog follows him to the hospital. Patiently the dog waits in front of the hospital for a couple days. His owner dies and his organs are donated to the hospital which saves a woman. Watch the dog’s reaction when he sees her ~ Kleenex may be needed.
Written by: Kelly Pins, Manager of Affiliate Marketing
|The Man and The Dog Inspiring Organ Donation – The In…
The Man and The Dog, a television commercial from Argentina for Fundación Argentina de Trasplante Hepático (Liver Transplant Foundation of Argentina)
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