July 29, 2011

Random Act of Kindness: Become an Organ Donor

Become an Organ Donor

This is something that is near and dear to my heart.  It should be near and dear to all of our hearts.

I believe we all have a moral obligation to be organ and tissue donors.

And not only because my husband has had a kidney/pancreas transplant and needs another one.  No, it's because 18 people will die each day waiting for an organ.

It does not matter what your religious beliefs are.  All major religions support the principles of donation and transplantation.

It is just your physical body anyway.  You don't need it anymore once you've passed on.  Really.  And even when you're still alive, there are parts of your body that you have multiples of, such as kidneys, or that can regnerate, such as the liver, bone marrow and blood.

Seriously.  Don't be a hoarder!

According to the United Network for Organ Sharing, or UNOS, the current transplant trends are:

  • Waiting list candidates as of today: 111,724
  • Active waiting list candidates:  72,346
  • Transplants January - April 2011: 9,055
  • Donors January - April 2011: 4,490

See those last 2 numbers?  Transplants vs. Donors?  The number of transplants is higher than the number of donors.  That's becasue one body can provide as many as 50 opportunities for transplantation. Fifty! Organs, skin, stem cells, eyes, perhaps even limbs. It's truly amazing!

Now here's the tricky part.  If you're all, "Yes!  I absolutely want to be an organ and tissue donor!", that's awesome.  But you have to SHARE YOUR DECISION with your loved ones.

Share your life.  Share your decision.  If your loved ones aren't aware that donation is part of your final wishes, they might say no when the doctors ask.  You can fill out an online donor registration form or tell the DMV you are a donor all you want, but if your next of kin say no, that's it.

The most important thing to do is to sign up  as an organ and tissue donor in your state's donor registry.  Then....
    To cover all 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

There is also an International Association for Organ Donation, as well as the Donate Life website.

I hope that each and every one of my readers will commit to being an organ and tissue donor....and then some!

Let's BEE Friends


  1. Jen, organ donation is near and dear to my heart too. I blogged about it about a month ago and am happy that others recognize the importance. I shared ways to "pay it forward" on See Beautiful blog today and then came across your wonderful post. Thanks for inspiring.

  2. I've always thought about being an organ donor. I would have no issues donating to family if they needed something so why not just anyone once I've passed on? Just not so sure how my family would feel about it. Something to discuss.

    Thanks for the info!

  3. I have a cousin who died as a teen while waiting for organs. I've been an organ and tissue donor ever since. My favorite phrase is, "Don't take your organs to heaven because heaven knows we need them here."