An Honorable And Easy Way To Save A Life Is An Organ Donation

An Honorable And Easy Way To Save A Life Is An Organ Donation

One organ donor has the potential to save and enhance eight lives.

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One of the easiest ways to save a life is simply to check the "opt-in" button as an organ donor when getting your license/ID at the Motor Vehicle Division or by registering online at DonateLifeAZ.org. Organ donation is such a wonderful way to help save a life of another, once yours or a loved one's has ended. It is a beautiful gift for one to leave behind: a legacy of lifesaving generosity. Organ donation is a field which combines high-tech elements with the continuously improving knowledge on various medical advancements in order to successfully save the lives of millions of individuals suffering from an array of medical problems, some even life-threatening, through organ transplants.

Though this process is one that can help so many people, making seems almost like an "obvious" choice, it is often one that is thought about and considered during one of the hardest times of an individual's life -- a death of their loved one. In Arizona, the sole, federally designated, nonprofit organ procurement organization is the Donor Network of Arizona (DNA). Understanding that this is a difficult time for families, this organization strives to work in a way that balances outstanding medical knowledge with compassion for families.

The mission of the Donor Network of Arizona is stated as "we make the most of life through the gift of organ and tissue donation." According to the DNA website, one organ donor has the potential to save eight lives; eight individuals could be helped by one's life-saving decision to simply "click yes" on becoming an organ donor. This past year in Arizona, 283 donors saved the lives of 779 individuals. Organs that can be donated include the heart, lungs, small intestines, liver, kidney, pancreas, as well as, different components of one's eye and other skin tissues. These organ transplants offer healing and a second chance at life for many individuals; unfortunately, one problem with organ donation is that a lot of people do not even qualify to be a donor. In order to qualify one must die in a pretty specific way -- usually due to neurological injuries or deaths that do not cause severe damage to the internal organs.

However, with increasing medical knowledge comes improvements in organ donation and it is becoming easier to improve and prolong the use of slightly damaged organs. Another problem arising with organ donation is the preservation time of the various organs; organ donations are done regionally because most organs would not survive the trip from Arizona to New York. For example, heart and lung donations only last about 4 to 6 hours before it becomes no longer viable for transplant and eye donations must be procured within 24 hours of one's death. Due to this short time preservation for various organs, it results in a difficult conversation being had very soon after the death of a loved one is declared.

Organ donation is truly a beautiful way to give someone else the gift of life, by allowing them to have a piece of your legacy after death. Signing up to be an organ donor is such an easy process and one that could have several life-saving outcomes. The Donor Network of Arizona works diligently and compassionately with families whose loved one is an organ donor, or who are considering donating. DNA works with and supports families of organ donors up to 2 years after procurement as a follow-up procedure through letters of thanks and acknowledgment. With a simple click of a button at the MVD or by signing up online, one can become an organ donor, making the decision to potentially save the lives of others after one's own life has come to an end. A truly honorable and generous decision, one that I encourage everyone to strongly consider.

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To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.
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Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

Suicidal thoughts are thought of in such black-and-white terms. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is there are some stuck in the gray area of those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble, and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead. You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling, whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die?" or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you. You are not alone.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255


Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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Poetry On Odyssey: Some Days

A poem that reminds you that you're not alone.

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Some days,

You dread the sound of your alarm. You snooze and snooze and snooze and snooze.

When you finally pull yourself out of bed, pressed time forces you to throw on stained sweats

you find yourself chugging a cup of coffee.

You sit on the couch and contemplate calling out of work

You caught the stomach bug,

Or perhaps the flu,

Maybe you broke your collar bone

Or need a new phone

The endless list of excuses repeats through your head as you sit on the couch, wishing you were still in bed.

It takes every ounce

Every breath

Every fiber of your being to pull yourself off the couch

And into the car

And into the building where you work

Some days,

This is just how it goes

You are not alone.


Some days,

You awake to the beautiful sound of birds

Chirping outside your window

The sun sneaks its way into your room

A smile creeps across your face as you realize you are awake to see a new day

You make a good breakfast

You read a few pages of your favorite book

You get your mind ready for the things it will accomplish today

Before you know it you've worked an entire day

Your job is done

As you pull into your driveway,

you take a few breaths

Feeling grateful for another meaningful day.

Some days,

This is how it goes

You are not alone.


Every day is a gamble,

Every day is a gift

The key to getting more good days

Is believing that everyday is one.

You are not alone, this is just how it goes.

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