Hello my readers! Today is Friday, April 21st. It’s no ordinary day, according to The Living Legacy Foundation. Living Legacy and Donate Life set today to be something called “Be Seen in Green Day” (although with Donate Life, it’s “Be Seen in Blue and Green Day”) where people wear green in order to raise awareness for organ and tissue donation. I apologize if I cite a lot of sources, but people nowadays like seeing sources to back up statements.
In Maryland, where The Living Legacy Foundation is based, nearly 3800 people are waiting for a life-saving organ. This number varies from state to state. Wearing green will honor the thousands of donors and their families who were kind enough to save and improve lives through the power of donations. You can also start conversations about donating organs and tissues to raise awareness, since wearing a color won’t be enough.
Organ donation is a topic very important to me. I first found out about organ donation when an uncle died in October 2003. I later found out that he was an organ donor and my family went to the annual Ceremony of Remembrance in 2004. In January 2007, another uncle died. He was also an organ donor (I think my grandparents made the decision for him to be an organ donor since he did not have the mental capability to make the decision himself). At that year’s Ceremony of Remembrance, my family was there for two brothers instead of one. Because of my uncles, when it was time to test for my learner’s permit a year after my second uncle’s death, I chose to be an organ donor and have a picture of a small heart on the permit and license. No one knew ahead of time that I was going to say “yes” to being an organ donor. Years later, in November 2010, my middle school friend died. When I went to her memorial service, I saw the familiar organ donation medal that was given to my family for my uncles. Thanks to my decision to become an organ donor and my uncles and friend being donors, I have been able to get more people in my family to become organ donors. I one day want to speak at the Ceremony of Remembrance hosted by Living Legacy Foundation to share my uncles’ and friend’s stories, tell how they inspired me to be an organ donor, and to inspire other people to become organ donors.
There are some myths about organ donation that people hear, and it causes them to not want to donate. The number one reason I’ve heard when people say they don’t want to donate is because of a myth that the medical team will not work as hard to save your life if they find out you’re a donor. First, the donation team is completely different from the medical team that sees you. Second, any competent medical team will do everything they can to save your life. They don’t like telling family members that their loved one has died. Organ and tissue recovery won’t start until every single effort has been exhausted and you have been declared dead by the attending physician. Source with other myths
I will talk about this again in the future, but there is a need for more people of color and multiracial people to donate. Nearly 58% of people on the national transplant waiting list in the United States are people of color and even though transplants can be successful between a donor and recipient of different racial and ethnic backgrounds, transplants are often more successful between people of the same racial and ethnic backgrounds. Source
Some more fun facts:
- You can be a donor at any age, so don’t worry if you think you will be ineligible to donate if you end up living to be at least 70.
- If you have certain illnesses, you won’t automatically be ineligible to donate organs. Your medical condition at the time of death will determine which organs can be donated. Source for this fact and the previous fact
- Just like if you donated blood, one person can save multiple lives. You can save up to 8 lives by donating organs, restore the sight of one or two people by donating your corneas, and heal up to 75 people by donating your tissues. Source, which includes more statistics. Scroll down to see the source of this fact
Tell me, readers. Do you know someone who was an organ donor? Are you registered as an organ donor? You can start raising awareness by sharing the sources on this blog, talking to family and friends about wanting to donate organs, or debunk myths when you hear someone say or see someone write about a myth causing them to not want to donate. Until next time, stay informed and be a hero to someone.