Both of my mom’s brothers were organ donors. They’re the reason why I registered to be an organ donor when I went to take my test to get my learner’s permit. I’d like to tell you about their lives while they were alive.
Let’s first talk about one of my uncles. He was an athlete, with his preferred sport being baseball. He was the youngest of three siblings. He was a graduate of Coppin State University and was one of the best freshmen baseball player to ever exist at his university. In early 2003, he found out he was going to be a father. He was very excited. A few days after the baby shower, in October 2003, he died from a severe asthma attack. His organs and corneas were donated. Thanks to him, someone has the ability to see.
My mom’s other brother, the middle child, had hydrocephalus and was autistic (mostly non-verbal, but knew some words). He loved to dance and his siblings were rightfully very protective of him. My grandparents refused to institutionalize him, which was a typical fate for people with cognitive disabilities back in the 1970s. He had a tooth pulled at the dentist office, and that’s when health problems started. He died of pneumonia in January 2007, a week after his birthday. I don’t know what organs were donated, but due to his pneumonia, his lungs could not be donated (what organs can be donated depends on cause of death).
Although my uncles walked two different paths of life, they still helped to save and enhance lives. You don’t have to be a celebrity or a well-known activist to make a difference in the world.