It is common to fear the unknown. We hesitate to leave our comfort zone and often avoid making decisions that lead to unknown consequences. These emotions, combined and a lack of experience or knowledge can play a part in your decision to become an organ donor.
The bright sticker comes in the mail with your driver’s license along with a long page of information that you may or may not give a second glance. Many of us opt to ignore it, to decide at a later date, or to let someone else decide for us if the situation ever arises where we’re in a place to donate an organ.
Today, I’m challenging you to get informed about organ, eye, and tissue donation and to inspire others to do the same.
No one wants to consider what it would mean if we, or someone we loved, needed an organ transplant. But for more than 113,000 patients waiting (as of March 2012)—and their families and loved ones —it’s something on their minds each and every day.
Why the stigma about organ donation?
For some of us, it’s the fear I mentioned earlier—that if we register as an organ donor, and were ever in a bad situation, life saving measures might be disregarded. But research and hospital protocol tells us that if you are sick or injured and admitted to the hospital, their number one priority is to save your life.
Phew, I know that makes me feel better! It’s never glamorous to think about what would happen if an accident occurred, but thinking of lives that could be saved can make it a little easier to consider the options.
The stigma for others may involve religion or concern about what organ removal does to the body. All major religions in the United States support donation and see it as a final act of love and generosity toward others – and an open casket is possible for donors as the body is treated with care and respect.
Still need help deciding?
- Learn the Facts: Get your questions answered and learn about what it means to be a donor.
- Read the Stats: About successful transplants, who’s waiting, and more.
- Watch Will Act: Check out the film Seven Pounds with Will Smith (while it’s not a true account, nor am I endorsing mimicking his actions, it’s interesting how strangers become treasured as you learn more about them). Read about real patients waiting for a transplants. Every human deserves life, and maybe these stories will move you to act and make the ultimate difference in the life of a stranger.
If you’re inspired: register to become a donor today, give to organizations that are working to raise awareness, and share this blog with a friend.
Do you have an organ donation experience story to tell or a specific appeal to make for your organization? Take a moment to share it on Facebook.
– Michelle Koffler, Marketing Coordinator