Posts Tagged ‘transplant’

Give and Give Again

Is there a limit to your generosity this season? This may seem the far horizon of giving, but it really isn’t as dramatic as you might have thought (or as dramatic as it once was).

Have you considered volunteering and signing up for the registry as a Bone Marrow Donor?

Thousands of patients with Leukemia and other life-threatening diseases depend upon donors on the Be The Match Registry (The National Marrow Donor Program) for transplants that will save their lives. You never know for whom you might be an appropriate match, so your profile is stored in the registry. When a patient is ready for and truly needs the procedure, their doctor searches for matches through the system. It needn’t be a huge procedure for you as the donor–the science has progressed so most transplant marrow can be received from a simple needle in your arm. It doesn’t have to be a punch into the bone of your pelvis like it used to be. Far less invasive, and it saves lives.

When you sign up, you are committing to helping anyone for whom you are a match. You can always change your mind when the time comes, perhaps many years from now when you match up with someone, but you won’t.

Did I mention it saves lives?

Circle of (Donor) Life

anatomyA whole lot about charity involves beliefs and ethics and, occasionally, passing judgement. I don’t stand here (or sit, at the kitchen counter at the moment) in judgement on this issue–but it will likely be clear where my feelings lie.

Organ donation. It’s so damn easy to do. Just a little pink sticker on the back of your driver’s license, or a box checked on the license, or a tick in the box on the back of an ID card. The waiting lists in this country for organ donation are long and almost impossible to get through, so many, many (too many) people die needlessly for lack of available transplant options. I am perhaps at one end of the spectrum–I’m pretty firm in my own belief that you should take every last scrap of me that can be of any use to anyone else once I’m gone. I’m quite certain I’ll be done with it.

I get it if your beliefs or heebie-jeebies don’t allow you to give that gift. But if you haven’t done it just from not quite getting around to it, or you didn’t know how easy it was to designate yourself as a donor…it is easy enough that you should let the computer go to sleep right now and handle it.

I found this news tidbit interesting…Life Sharers is an organization whose catch phrase is “organs for organ donors” and they believe that if you are not a donor yourself, you should not have priority to receive organ transplants from others. There is huge controversy about waiting lists in different places and wealthy people being able to travel to where lists are shorter (the case of Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ recent liver transplant and his going to Tennessee to get on a shorter list brought this to light for a whole new group of thinkers). The thought is if organs were given first to registered donors, it would create incentive for more people to register, and widen the pool of available organs…and save a bunch of lives. Makes sense to me.

Life Sharers has created a way for you to prioritize the donation of your organs, not to whoever is on the list, but giving first option to other registered donors (and of course if only non-donors are a match for your organs, they would not be denied). “Directed Donation” is legal in all 50 states (and the process by which Natalie Cole was able to recently get her kidney transplant).

While you’re putting thought into your own decisions–think on this one too. And check the box.