Attention Getter: Life is unpredictable, no one knows what path lies ahead, we don’t know what today, tomorrow, or the future holds for any of us. The mother of an 18 yr old girl knows just how unpredictable life can be. As this mother posts on; organdonorawareness.org, she refers back to the day her daughter turned 18. She writes, “A few after my daughter turned 18 she came running thru the house saying "I got my card". Of course I assumed she meant her new license. She held a card that was not her license and I said "what is it" she smiled and replied "my organ donor card. Because of this noble act when she left us, her organs went on to save four lives. As a mother, I can't tell you how much more proud I am now.My daughter was amazing, beautiful inside and out.
Many of you in this room will be getting your drivers license soon. When you do you will be asked 1 very important question; the question will be to become an organ donor just like the 18 yr old in the story mentioned. Most of you will get your license before you are 18 so it will also be a choice that you will need to involve your parents in if you decide to become and organ and tissue donor. But nevertheless, you’ll be able to become one when your 18 regardless.
So today I’m here to help you understand the need and benefits of organ and tissue donation.
I will first explain what organ and tissue donation is, then I will help you understand the extreme need for organ donors and finally I will tell you how you can become a donor if you decide to make that choice.
What is organ and tissue donation
According to Michigan.gov organ and tissue donation is the transplanting of viable organs and tissues from a deceased person into recipients to save or enhance their quality of life. In all of our medical advances there are numerous organs and tissues that can be donated. According to organdonor.gov some of the organs that can be donated are;
Kidneys, heart, lungs, liver, pancreas, and the intestines.
Organs cannot be stored and must be used within hours of removing them from the donor's body.
Most donated organs are from people who have died, but a living individual can donate a kidney, part of the pancreas, part of a lung, part of the liver, or part of the intestine.
Tissues that can be donated are;
Corneas, the middle ear, skin, heart valves, bone, veins, cartilage, tendons, and ligaments can be stored in tissue banks
These are used to restore sight, cover burns, repair hearts, replace veins, and mend damaged connective tissue and cartilage in recipients.
other donations could be stem cells, blood, and blood platelets
According to organdonor.gov, Last year alone, organ donors made more than 28,000 transplants possible. Another one million people received cornea and other tissue transplants that helped them recover from trauma, bone damage, spinal injuries, burns, hearing impairment and vision loss.
It’s almost unreal the benefits that just 1 person can provide for so many other people.
I’ve just explained what organ donation is; now I will help you understand the need for more organ and tissue donors.
Because life is so unpredictable determining if you or someone you love will ever be in need of an organ transplant is not something can be predicted. Organdonor.gov shows us that every 10 minutes someone new is added to the waiting list for a donor. It does not matter your race, your age or your religion; you just never know when a transplant is needed.
It’s important to have as many people as possible as organ and tissue donors because there are so many people awaiting a viable transplant. According to mayoclinic.com 103,000 people are waiting for an organ or tissue donor. Of those 103,000, 600 of them are children under the age of 5.
Statistics can be hard to understand but these statistics represent families: mothers, fathers, brothers, and sisters, all families just like yours and mine. According to mayoclinic.com Almost two-thirds of all living donors are relatives of their recipient, most commonly siblings.
Unfortunately there are not enough donors and thousands die every year that is about an average of 18 people die each day waiting for transplants that can't take place because of the shortage of donated organs and you have the power to change that.
Transplantation is one of the most remarkable success stories in the history of medicine. According to yesidaho.org, 1 donor can save about 8 lives.
Despite the continuing advances in medicine and technology, the need for organs and tissue is vastly greater than the number available for transplantation.
I’ve just explained the need for organ donation; now I will explain how you can become one.
How to become a donor
Most of you are under 18 so unless your parents approve your choice this cannot be done until you are 18. On the yesidaho.org website it states if you are under the age of 18, consent must be obtained from your parents or legal guardian at the time of donation.
If you are over the age of 18 at the time of donation, family consent is not required, but your family will be notified of your wishes.
At the age of 18 anyone can be a potential organ and tissue donor and there are three easy ways to become an organ donor.
Click the yellow "say Yes Now" button located on the upper left hand side of the yesidaho.org website, this is where you will fill in your personal information.
The second way to do this is to download the application and mail to:
Yes! Idaho Donor Registry
230 S. 500 E. #290
Salt Lake City, Utah 84102
The third way to become a donor is to Say "YES" on your driver license or state ID card.
This is the step that I have taken. When I was younger I signed up to be a donor and when the time comes I will be able to save lives.
So today I’ve explained to you what organ donation is, the need for donors and the easy steps to take if you decide to become an organ and tissue donor.
This is an easy process to help save lives. When the time comes and you are faced with the decision of becoming a donor you now know how beneficial it can be in and the profound impact it will have in numerous lives.
If the mother of that 18 yr old girl had not talked to her daughter about the importance and benefits of organ donation, 4 lives would have been cut short It was a great loss for this mother, to lose her daughter, but her daughter lives on furthering the lives of those that might not have had a future without her daughter’s donation.