One major decision each of us is faced with at some point or another in our lives is whether or not to register as an organ donor. This is a very important decision for each of us. Deciding whether or not to become an organ donor not only has an effect on our life and those around us, but it has the ability to save up to eight other lives. Lung transplants often help patients who have emphysema, pulmonary fibrosis, cystic fibrosis or pulmonary hypertension. Heart transplants can help patients who have cardiomyopathy, congenital heart disease or coronary artery disease. Liver transplants are useful in helping patients with hepatitis or biliary atresia. Kidney transplants help patients who have been diagnosed with diabetes, hypertension or polycystic kidney disease. Pancreas transplants can also help people who have been diagnosed with diabetes. Those are just a few of the major organs that can be donated, and a couple of the main reasons someone may be in need of a transplant. More than 120,000 people in the United States are currently on a waiting list to receive an organ. A name is continuously added to that waiting list approximately every 10 minutes. That is a little crazy to think about, right? Some of the main concerns that I have heard people mention about organ donation is, doctors won’t work as hard to save my life if they know I am registered as an organ donor. Celebrities or people with a lot of money can move up on the waiting list quicker than everyone else on the waiting list, and lastly, my family will be charged if I donate my organs. All of these statements are common myths of organ donation and are far from the truth. A story that touched my heart recently was one I accidentally stumbled upon while doing research for a project. It was a story about a mom who lost her 7 month old son named, Lukas. She decided to donate his organs in hopes of saving someone else’s life, and she did just that. Her decision to donate her sons organs saved the life of a 4-year-old girl who was born with a congenital heart defect. Doctors said her only hope for survival was a heart transplant. To me, there is no greater gift than being able to save the life of someone else. How great is it that you can actually give someone the gift of life. This big question of whether or not to become an organ donor is normally asked when setting up your driver’s license, but you can also register online and include it into your advance directives. You have the opportunity to give the gift of life, not only one life, but eight.
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You know YOU are not determined by your romantic status
Although the most romantic and love-filled holiday is right around the corner, it's important to know that Feb.14, the middle day of the shortest month of the year, doesn't need to be determined by your current romantic status. With that being said, you can either choose to sulk over the fact that you're single or you can make the best out of Valentine's Day without even having one.
Here are a few ideas to celebrate the day:
Galentine's DayFor those of you who aren't aware of this truly awesome day, Galentine’s Day was coined by superwoman Leslie Knope on Parks and Recreation.
Who needs a significant other when you have your group of gals. So grab your closest friends and watch a collection of cheesy movies whilst shoving your faces with pizza or visit the local pub for a few drinks. Celebrate Valentine's with your true soulmates.
Have a party
It doesn't matter if your group of friends are couples and singles because everyone is always up for a party, especially if it falls on the day where it's impossible to get dinner reservations. People will always love and appreciate a fun social gathering.
Lucky for you, you don't have that added stress of having to splurge on a special gift for your Valentine. With all that extra cash in your pocket, it would only be fair to treat yourself. You know YOU better than anyone else, so why not take yourself out for a little shopping spree or dinner. Splurge on those pair of jeans you've had your eyes on for months, maybe that gorgeous handbag you've only been able to dream about, or that mouth-watering meal and dessert.
The iconic landmark is reinventing itself with a splashy new color.
Soon, the 2024 Summer Olympics are coming to Paris, and the Eiffel Tower will be in the spotlight.
Embedded so much into Paris's identity, the iconic landmark is no stranger to historic events and world-class gatherings over the years. It is sure to shine again.
Here are 7 fun facts about the Eiffel Tower. See how many you know...
1. It's Being Painted Gold
Eiffel Tower Goldfreesvg.org
Repainting is done about every seven years, per the official Eiffel Tower website, and the 20th edition is extra special: it's going gold. Previous paint is being stripped and gold paint is being used in a project that is slated to be completed by the start of the 2024 Summer Olympics. (Lonely Planet)
2. It Was Protested In Its Earliest Years: 'A Dark Ink Stain'
The Eiffel Tower on 1888-11-14 - Wikimedia Commonscommons.wikimedia.org
A series of prominent artists, poets and composers all came out against the Eiffel Tower in its earliest days, calling it ugly and saying it had no place in Paris. This drew a response from Gustave Eiffel himself, who found the Eiffel Tower comparable to the pyramids in Egypt, "a symbol of strength and overcoming adversity." (Tour Eiffel)
3. It Was The World's Tallest Structure For 41 Years
Low angle of The Eiffel Towerwww.flickr.com
From 1889 when it was constructed to 1930, the Eiffel Tower was the tallest man-made structure in the world. It was surpassed by the Chrysler Building in New York City. (Chaletcouleursde France)
4. It Will Serve As A Backdrop At The Olympics
Eiffel Tower Bridge | Bridge leading towards the Eiffel Towerwww.flickr.com
It will be hard to miss the Eiffel Tower during the Games, as it will be visible in the background of both triathlon and open water swimming events. (Travel + Leisure)
5. It Once Had A Theater, A Post Office + A Newsroom
Interior of Old Theatre, 1921 - Wikipediaen.wikipedia.org
A wooden structure that was designed by the Eiffel Tower's architect, the first-floor theater was replaced after the 1937 World's Fair. It also had a post office, a newsroom, and a radio station in earlier years. (Tour Eiffel)
6. It Was Originally Built For The World Fair
Eiffel Tower in 1914 - Wikimedia Commonscommons.wikimedia.org
The Eiffel Tower was one of the main attractions at the World's Fair in 1889, which commemorated 100 years since the French Revolution. It drew attention for its iron and steel construction, which was a great industrial achievement at the time. (All That's Interesting)
7. It Was Part Of A Flight Competition In The Early 1900s
File:Santos-Dumont flight around the Eiffel Tower - Wikimediacommons.wikimedia.org
There was a 100,000 francs prize for flying from a designated location to the Eiffel Tower and back within 30 minutes. This competition was won in an airship in 1901 by Brazilian pioneer aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont. (APS)
You don't just start as the person you are meant to be; there is a journey full of ups and downs that mold a person, so this is my journey.
Overall I'd love to say I grew up a happy overly enthusiastic child that was taught to love herself and be loved by everyone else, but I can't say that and I never will. My smile wasn't always as bright as it is today, but this is the story behind my smile, the story about how I got here to the happiest place I'll ever be. I'll begin at freshman year of high school.
I was definitely not the prettiest one in my class, I was the underdeveloped girl who talked way too much for anyone's liking and was just over all annoying. At school, I guess I could say I sought for attention maybe because I wasn't getting it all at home. The constant thing I'd hear at school was " I can't wait to go home.", but is it crazy that I couldn't wait to get back to school. School was more of a home than my own house, the place where people dread to go was the place I was desperate not to leave. Coming home from school felt like I was entering a battlefield not knowing what I was going to get hit with next. Were my grades not good enough? Did I say something wrong? Did I forget to do a chore? Of course these are such small things. SUCH. SMALL. THINGS. They were blown up into hellish arguments I could never win. I lived with my step sister, Alyssa, she is 2 years older than me and I felt like if anything she took the brunt of everything. When it came to grades she would get yelled at way more than me; they seemed harder on her.
Alyssa was always the pretty one, they rarely pointed out a flaw in her appearance. I felt like I heard it all the time from her dad. A dad is known to be a daughters first love right? The one that told her she was the prettiest one out there, the one that made sure I had all the confidence in the world and more. It's okay not everyone's perfect you know. From the age of 10-13 I felt like I was raised as one of his own, but growing up things changed. He would mention how people would pick on me for my imperfections, but it seemed like the only one doing it was him. There's more between me and him, but that's a story for another time. My mom always stressed out with the family business took most of it out on us, blowing up and being verbally abusive on a consistent basis. I never felt like I was good enough to my parents, I gave my all and got nothing in return. I wasn't happy for such a long time, but I didn't tell anyone.
I thought that everything would be better if I wasn't there, that the home I lived in did not take me into account so it wouldn't matter. Going to school made me feel valued, I felt important and didn't feel judged and picked on. I knew that I was always the smart one in my class and that people cared about me because they always reminded me. I had some friends that really got me through some of the personal conflicts I had going on and they didn't even know because of the welcoming and positive facade I put on everyday.
Just remember sometimes it is gonna hurt, whether we want it to or not!
One day he walked into my life. UNEXPECTED! And one day he walked out!
He walked in with a smile! One that glistened from a mile away! He knew the right things to say! He made me laugh more than I thought I could! He made me smile bigger than the world! He didn't know I had feelings! I didn't realize I had feelings! I didn't realize they were strong.
He poked and probed until I told him I had feelings. I think I screwed up! Because he told me not to and instead of developing feelings, I fell hard!!!! He walked away! He didn't know how I felt or what I thought from then on out! I put a smile on and faced the day brave as I wished I had done before he asked that question.
Oh how that question is burned into my mind! My heart and soul ache everytime I think. He says he understands but does he really?! He knows all my secrets but does he know what this ones like! He's my best friend and I can't be honest with him! I support every decision he makes! I smile at every achievement happily even when it hurts! I smile when he smiles! I frown when he's hurting! But I can't tell him my biggest secret of all! I fell in love with him on day one and everyday it grows stronger!
One day, he'll actually understand! One day, he'll truly see me for me! One day, he will understand that I didn't mean to fall in love with him! One day, he will see that I want happiness, joy, and love for him! But in the meantime, my heart hearts. The heart wants what the heart wants! If only I could restart the clock!
The heart truly wants what the heart truly wants! We can't change that! Just remember sometimes it is gonna hurt, whether we want it to or not!
A Broken Heart
See which conversations rose to the top on Odyssey this week!
New response writers means exciting new conversations on Odyssey! We're proud to spotlight our talented creators and the topics that matter most to them. Here are the top three response articles of last week:
During trips, you see first-hand how powerful God is, and how important prayer can be.
This was a response to What Short-Term Mission Trips Have Taught Me.
It's okay to to lead two lives, have two identities, and call two places home.
This was a response to Culture Clashing: A Lifetime Of Adapting To An American Life.
In this life, they say there are three specific kinds of connections that go beyond the Earthly realm. Have you met one of the above? Read more to find out.
This was a response to A Letter To Myself: Relationships Are Full-Time Employment, Are You Up For the Job?
Congratulations to all the writers! Odyssey will continue to spotlight top response articles on our homepage every week, and in our brand new newsletter Overheard on Odyssey. Click here to subscribe!
Want to join the conversation? Our response writer community is growing, and we're always looking for new voices! As a response writer, your work will be featured on our homepage, newsletter, and social media feed. Plus, you'll be compensated by HQ at $10/response for your first 10 articles.
To become a response writer, email email@example.com. We're excited to hear from you!
1. Brittany Morgan, National Writer's Society
2. Radhi, SUNY Stony Brook
3. Kristen Haddox, Penn State University
4. Jennifer Kustanovich, SUNY Stony Brook
5. Clare Regelbrugge, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign