April 24, 2018
Six years ago, a 16-year-old girl from Minnesota was killed by a drunk driver. Her name was Mindy.
Later that year, my cousin Lella received Mindy’s liver after being on the donation waiting list for over six months, hanging on to her life by a thread.
Lella was born with a rare liver disease, biliary atresia, and was relying on organ donation as her only chance of survival. After witnessing this incredible miracle, it made me realize an important part of helping others.
Everyone should become a registered organ donor.
Every day, 22 people die waiting for a transplant. One organ donor can save eight lives, according to the National Foundation for Transplants.
When you get your license at the DMV, you have the option to become an organ donor, and a red heart is added to your license. This heart represents your legally binding consent to be an organ donor and shows that you have chosen to make all of your organs available for transplant at your time of death, according to Donate Life.
Being an organ donor does not always mean all of your organs are transplanted. If an organ cannot be used for transplantation or therapy, then it may be used for medical research and education, so researchers and scientists can find cures for diseases, like the one my cousin had.
Many people aren’t educated about organ donation and, in turn, jump to the conclusion that it is a corrupt medical phenomenon.
According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, a common myth that people have regarding organ donation is that “if they see I’m a donor, at the hospital, they won’t try to save my life.”
But this is wrong. If you end up in a situation where you have to go to the hospital, donating your organs doesn’t even become a possibility until all lifesaving methods have failed.
Many people also believe in the misconception that if you receive an organ from an immoral person, that you will become an immoral person too. However, it has been proven time and time again that there is no moral attachment with organs – they are simply body parts that we need to function.
People waiting on a transplant list are not concerned about becoming an immoral person – they are concerned with whether or not they are going to live another day.
I have seen this first hand, as I witnessed a sick child who was afraid everyday would be their last transform into a lively, healthy and independent young girl that is grateful to be alive each and every day.
Before taking a stance on this subject, it is incredibly important to become educated. Visit donatelife.net/ to learn more about organ donation and become a registered donor if you’re interested.
“Without the organ donor there is no story, no hope, no transplant. But when there is an organ donor, life springs from death, sorrow turns to hope, and a terrible loss becomes a gift.”