This post is a little different from others, especially considering that today is Valentine’s Day. But in a way, I am talking about love.
Organ donation is something that is very near and dear to my heart. As a junior in high school, my grandfather, who I’d only met a few years prior, fell sick and was in need of a new liver. He was never a drinker but his liver was failing anyway. I remember sitting in the hospital, just being with him while he slept, praying that someone gave him a liver.
For the first time in my 17 years, I was in danger of losing someone close to me. I’d been lucky and had never lost a family member. There I was sitting in the hospital, wishing that I had called my grandpa more often. I wished that I had gotten the opportunity to visit more and get to know him.
My grandpa was in the hospital for about a week before he was lucky enough to get a liver. I couldn’t believe it. I remember wishing I could thank the family for donating their loved one’s organ so I could have more time with my grandpa. Obviously, this wasn’t possible but I said a prayer for this mysterious person and their family for giving my grandpa a second chance at life.
Fast forward a few years when it was time to renew my driver’s license. I was asked if I wanted to be an organ donor. Sadly, I had to decline. I assumed that due to my arthritis and the medication that I was taking, I would not be able to donation organs or tissue to anyone. Turns out, I was wrong. I’ve never been so glad to be wrong in my entire life!
I am now a card carrying member of the organ donation club and I urge you to consider this as well. Don’t assume that just because you have certain diseases or physical ailments that you aren’t a candidate. Talk to your family, friends and doctors to decide if this is something that is right for you.
Currently there are more than 120,000 people waiting for an organ transplant. More than 17 people die waiting for a transplant each day. According to the Health and Human Services a new person is added to the waiting list every 10 minutes.
Check out organdonor.gov for more information. Thanks for listening to my rambling today. Just felt moved to write about this today. Have a great week and Happy Valentine’s Day!