11 November 2006

Giving Life

I live in a state that makes it easy to be an organ donor: we can indicate our donation preferences on our drivers liscenses. Last year, according to the state's online donation registration form, 170 people became donors (and 1000 donated tissue)--but there are 700 people in my state waiting for an organ. 700.

Before I moved here, I thought organ donation was a good thing, but I had never really talked to my family about it. Now that I've had the privilege of reading Moreena's stories about Annika and her family, organ donation seems all the more pressing. Anyone reading an Annika story with a modicum of attention will be charmed and enthralled by the irrepressible spirit and will of a most delightful girl, a girl who had the bad luck to be born with a serious liver disease, a girl whose every day makes marvel at the resilience of children in the face of serious medical problems. Moreena's stories, too, connect to other liver kids, some of whom are now quite big and relatively healthy, others of whom, sadly, didn't make it. (Moreena's post about the death of Annika's PICU neighbor and the pulling of so many emotions around a very sick child is one of the most moving posts I've ever read.)

I'm not shy about having opinions here, but I rarely post direct advice for readers. But Moreena's post about charity asked her readers to write about organ donation, and so I'm asking you, too, to learn about organ donation, and then sign up. Tell your families. I hope that we all live long and healthy lives. But I also know that many lives are made possible by organ donation. Keep that possibility in your mind. Organ donation gives life.

Shareyourlife.org has links to organ donation information in the United States, and you can get more information about organ donation at http://www.organdonor.gov/myths_and_facts.htm


Arwen said...

We used to have an easy organ donation system. You'd get a little sticker on your CareCard (the pass to universal healthcare).
Now, I'm not sure if we're donors or not. I remember filling out forms; but I haven't heard anything.

You've inspired me to check it out.

Angry Pregnant Lawyer said...

My state, too, allows us to indicate our donor status on our driver's licenses. Everyone in my family is a potential donor. I never even really thought that hard about it--it just seems like the right thing to do.