120,105 people are on the total waiting list for a lifesaving organ transplant. 77,434 are active waiting list candidates. From January to June of this year, 16,446 transplants have been performed. There has been a total of 7,766 donors from January to June. On average, 22 people die each day waiting for a transplant. One donor can save eight people. Every 10 minutes someone is added to the transplant list.
Organ donation plays a huge role in my life. When I turned 18, I made the decision to become an organ donor. Within the past two years, organ donation has become a very important topic to me. Two years ago this week, my dad was placed on a transplant list. (Check back next week for my article on it!) I understand that people have limitations about organ donation, but I want to explain to you why it is so important.
1. People truly need your organs.
Over 120,000 people are in need of a lifesaving transplant. These individuals on this list have families, friends and co-workers who are fighting alongside for them to get a transplant. Yes, there are things like dialysis, but those aren't long-term solutions. The only long-term solution is organ donation. Organ donation can help an individual live a normal life.
2. You never know when your family member or loved one could end up on the list.
Never in a million and one years did I think my dad would end up on the transplant list. So many things play a factor into organ donation. Organ donation is a tough topic to discuss, I get it, but it's one that needs to be talked about. Would you be willing to accept an organ for a family member? If you can accept it, why won't you give yours? It's a difficult question, but it's one that needs to be discussed with the entire family.
3. You can others the chance to be mobile again.
Organ and tissue donation can help others live their life to the fullest. Tissue donation can include tendons, ligaments, bones and other soft connective tissue that can give an individual the chance to walk, hop, jump, run and skip again. When an individual becomes immobile, it becomes clear how much we value and cherish being able to move with our own two feet.
4. It's free to register to be an organ donor.
You read that right. It's free to become an organ donor. When you become an organ donor, you can be sure that your family will not pay anything relating to the cost of the donation. Those costs are covered by the recipient's insurance/ Medicare and the organ donation organizations. I mean "it's a beautiful day to save lives" for free!
5. You can give life even in death.
This is where organ donation gets hard. In order to receive almost all organ donations, there will be the death of the donor. I get it, it's something you don't want to be asked once your loved one has died. This is why it's important to tell your entire family and to register when you decide to be an organ donor. For me, I will have no use for my organs once I pass away. I hope that one day I will be able to save someone's life after I have passed away.
Again, I realize how hard it can be for a family to make a decision. I realize that not everyone will become an organ donor. I realize that you don't want your family to have to make a decision like that. I get it, I really do. However, I hope you get where I'm coming from. I hope you realize that donor because the recipient's and the recipient's family's hero.
My family has a hero. My family is forever grateful for the decision of the donor's family. I know the day that we meet the donor's family, I probably won't be able to do anything but cry and say "Thank you. Your son is my hero.". His family made the decision to help mine and many other families during their time of grief.
There are many different organizations that can help an individual with organ donation. One of my favorite organizations is LiveOnNY. LiveOnNY is a "nonprofit, federally designated organ procurement organization dedicated to the recovery of organs and tissue for transplant in the greater New York metropolitan area". This organization was established in 1978 and served so many different families, including mine. Their hard work and dedication to finding the perfect donor by talking with family members of possible donors and working endlessly to help recover suitable organs does not go unnoticed. Thank you from the very bottom of my heart, LiveOnNY, for what you did for my family. For more information about LiveOnNY click here.
For information regarding other organizations related to organ donation click here.