It's easy to feel selfish when you decide to get a lung transplant - at least that's how I've sometimes felt. I realize that selfish isn't always a bad thing. But who can argue that the world wouldn't be better if everyone acted a little less selfishly?
Here on transplant row, I have a lot of time to think. And one of the many things I think about is how awesome it is that people or families of people decide to become organ donors. Literally to give someone else life. I also wonder how many non-donors out there have deliberately made that decision versus haven't been educated about the importance of registering and letting loved ones know your wishes.
I have seen many friends both go through transplant into new lives and die as a result of waiting for the opportunity. I know that having more organs available would make for more people in the first category and fewer in the second. Yet for whatever reason I haven't been very vocal about it.
Today I want to change that.
So let's make this personal. Here is how organ donation has affected people I know and care about:
- It has allowed Christy to see her daughter grow up and, now, go off to college;
- Two donors (two double lung transplants) have allowed Tiffany to work her way through the maze of finding a meaningful career and to fly all around the country giving patient advocacy talks;
- Two donors (another double lung transplant) have allowed Piper to go back to school for a Master's Degree and, now, to get married;
- It has allowed several men and women I know to have time to pursue things that interest them, hobbies, volunteering, raising organ donor awareness - to live their lives;
- And, it will allow me to see my nephews and nieces grow older, to be able to help take care of my aging parents, to travel with my amazing husband, to spend more time with my fur babies, to continue this blog and possibly return to a writing career - or even explore something different, to get back to my yoga and exercising, in short, to live my life a while longer.
Maybe becoming an organ donor is something that's been in the back of your mind for a while. Or maybe you're not sure if it's right for you (that's no excuse, learn the facts!)
If you are so inclined, you can register right now. (Existing donors can also check that they have taken the proper steps.)
Bottom line: give something back; register to be an organ donor. It's the right thing to do - DO IT.
|For more facts, statistics and frequently asked questions, visit the Donate Life website|