Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Organ Donation for All

I was just inspired to write this little number down for all bloggers to read. The inspiration was from February's 'Love' edition of the Oprah Magazine. The story is of 2 mothers, waiting for hearts for their little boys. A poignant story of one woman who flew halfway across the world and another who lived 40 miles away, their boys sharing a hospital room, the mothers, ignoring language barriers and supporting each other though the long wait, one parent's joy, and the other's grief. I feel lucky to be connected with Blog365 and I'm sure there is at least one of you for whom organ donation is a personal and perhaps private topic. I'm here to make it public.

Since the age of 16, I've been an organ donor. For the most part, I'm healthy. Nothing cutting down a bit on red meat or cheese, or a little more exercise wouldn't cure. I'm sure most of you can relate. My husband feels the same way, if we were to die, and have no use of our organs, why SHOULDN'T someone else get to use them if they can? Why can't our spouse know that if we were to die, their lives would live on, perhaps his or my heart beat in someone else, perhaps his liver clean someone else's blood or my corneas give (albeit blurry) vision to someone else?

But this topic is a bit tougher to talk about. It involves children. We all know that parents should not outlive their children. That little children should not die, and that they should live to have happy, healthy productive lives. Sometimes, due to car accidents, falls, or other tragedies, life does not always grant a ticket to graceful and grateful old age to the young around us. It is even a worse tragedy when a child is born or reaches perhaps only toddlerhood and his heart fails, or his kidneys shut down. With the rise in prenatal care, almost any child can survive what 1o years ago would have been fatal. Sometimes, at the cost of an organ. This brings to mind the question: are you willing to donate your children's organs should something above and beyond the pale of terror strike them down in their youth to save another child's life?

The parents have final say over whether anyone under the age of 18 can donate an organ in their final moments. Let's face it, there aren't that many AVAILABLE organs that will fit into a child's body. It has to be another child that donates, adult organs don't 'fit' into a little child. What's worse, with any type of donation program, the amount of non-Caucasions receiving help is slim, because not all the factors between the races are the same. That means that type-matching is tougher on people of color. This makes it vastly more important for blacks and hispanics in the US to donate when they can. When all hope is gone, new hope and faith can be restored. New life granted to another family, another child, as precious as yours, waits, dying in a hospital bed. Can you find it in your heart to save another child, when yours has been lost? Please give this some thought, talk it over with your spouse. Have a plan, for each other, for your children. Who knows? Someday it might be YOUR child waiting for a heart, a liver, a kidney... someday, it might be you praying for that parent across the country to donate their organs to save your child...

http://www.marrow.org/

http://www.organdonor.gov/

http://www.redcross.org/donate/give/

5 comments:

eclecticblog said...

Great post! I think everyone should be an organ donor. I am and my hubby knows my wishes. His mom died when he was a teenager and most of her organs were donated. You can even donate parts of your eyes so blind people can see. I also am on the bone marrow donor list. My friend's mom needed a bone marrow transplant and I had mine tested to see if would possibly be a match for her. It wasn't but I am on the list for someone else.

Robinella said...

Wonderful post! It certainly needs attention. We believe in cremation and we are organ donors. I'm also on the bone marrow list and donate blood regularly. That's another area where we run short a lot. Thanks.

Jenni said...

I've always had that little box checked on the back of my license, too. You can bet if the unthinkable happened, I would give consent.

Pamela said...

My drivers License has had Organ donor on the back of it for years.
But, fortunately, I'm getting to wear my own out.

Amanda* said...

Excellent post! I found it via Blog365. I finally signed up to be an organ donor (it will be official once I finally get to the registry to get my name changed on my license). Part of my motivation being that I take coumadin so I am no longer allowed to donate blood. I don't plan to have children, but if I did I would make sure they were donors as well because you make a VERY good point here about that.