One of my 2016 goals with my blog was to use my voice and reach to spread awareness about a cause that I am passionate about. I am so excited to share with you all that today is that day that I am using my voice to advocate for organ donation.
April is Organ Donation Awareness month, and it’s something that I think the world needs more education on. Let’s face it. None of us EVER want to have to think about donating our organs. I know that this is a very terrifying topic to think about, but I think it’s important to spread the word about why it is important.
A few months ago, our friend lost their 13-year old step-daughter randomly and tragically due to a milk allergy. Her family was in complete shock, and went from having a normal day to planning her funeral in just hours. My stomach drops every time I think about that poor family and their loss. However, the sweet girl was an organ donor, and was able to donate her liver to a toddler who needed a life-saving liver transplant for his rare disease called Primary Hyperoxaluria. Our friends now have the comfort of knowing that part of their daughter lives on, and that she saved that baby boy’s life.
In addition, a good friend of mine from high school has a heart condition related to a birth defect and has had five heart surgeries throughout his life. He needed a tissue donation for a pulmonary valve when he was 17 for ongoing management of his cardiac condition, which he received by a donor.
Situations like these that involve personal friends of mine have really opened up my eyes and heart as to WHY it’s so important to advocate for organ donation awareness and educate about how you can register to be a donor.
I teamed up with a friend of mine, a pharmacy student at University of Wisconsin- Madison, to discuss with you the FACTS and EDUCATE you all on how YOU can become a donor. Kym suffers from a serious digestive illness and has personal ties to organ donation as well, so she has made it her mission this year to educate about the cause. She personally lost a friend the same age as her who suffered from a very severe form of a digestive illness she has to live with. Unfortunately, her friend passed away a couple months after the transplant, but it made her so happy knowing she had a second chance at hope through her organ donor.
WHY is organ donation so important?
-123,000 people in the U.S. are on the waiting list for an organ transplant
-10 people are added to that list every day
-22 people die a day before being able to receive a transplant
-79 average people who receive organ transplants a day
So what does that mean? We are at a SHORTAGE of organs for transplants!
Waiting list individuals have been diagnosed with an ULTIMATELY FATAL condition & suffer from end-stage organ failure. Some reasons are totally out of their control like genetic disease or becoming sick from a virus or bacteria. Their lives DEPEND upon receiving an organ or maybe even multiple organs. And sadly, we don’t have enough donors.
We take for granted what it’s like to be born healthy or have the ability to live a normal quality of life while others suffer in a hospital daily waiting for that second chance. Please, please PLEASE consider being a donor. You can register here: http://www.organdonor.gov/becomingdonor/
And just for fun, Kym started the ORANGE SELFIE movement to spread awareness to register to be a donor! (The orange represents the orange dot donor sticker on your driver’s license.) Join us by posting your orange selfie to indicate you are a donor to help advocate for organ donation!
Thank you, friends! Hope you all have a wonderful weekend.
Thank you Kym for helping me with this cause, and thank you to Michael for sharing his story with my readers.