Organ Donation: Why I Decided To Sign My Card

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1,647 people in Ontario are waiting for an organ right now.

Many of them will die before they even come close to the top of the waiting list.

  • 295 people are waiting for a Liver
  • 46 people are waiting for a Heart
  • 1189 people are waiting for a Kidney
  • 53 people are waiting for a Lung
  • 1 person is waiting for a Heart and Lung
  • 19 people are waiting for a Pancreas
  • 4 people are waiting for a Small Bowel
  • 40 people are waiting for a Kidney and a Pancreas

It really puts things in perspective, doesn’t it?

There is a campaign going on right now by the Trillium Gift Of Life Network in universities around Ontario encouraging young adults to sign their donor cards.

IMG_6367 

Why Donate?

  • Everyone is a potential organ and tissue donor, regardless of their age. To date, the oldest Canadian organ donor was over 90 years of age while the oldest tissue donor was 102 years old.
  • Ultimately the ability to become an organ and tissue donor depends on several factors including the health of the organs and tissue at the time of death.
  • Recovery of organs and tissue is carried out with respect and dignity. It does not interfere with funeral practices and no one will know about your gift of life unless your family tells them.
  • Organs and tissue that can be donated after death include the heart, liver, kidneys, pancreas, lungs, small bowel, stomach, corneas, heart valves, bone and skin.
  • Studies show that donating the organs and tissue of a loved one who has died can provide immediate comfort and long-lasting consolation to family members in their grieving.
  • There is also the possibility of making a living donation of a kidney or liver.

After watching this news segment, it hit me:

I had not signed my donor consent form.

I will admit, my reason was not a great one.

I was simply afraid to do it.

Plain and simple.

But after I read the statistics, I knew I had to put my fears aside.

I can only imagine how horrible of a feeling it is to be on a wait list and come to the realization that you are not going to have a transplant in time.

IMG_6368Or being the family member of a loved one who is waiting for an organ.

I went to the Trillium website, downloaded the form, filled it out, and walked it to the mailbox.

When I die, I would hope that something good could come out of it and one (or many) of my organs could potentially save another’s life or go towards research and education.

 

Why don’t they have an online form?

As I mentioned, you need to download the form, print it, and snail mail it in. I think that they would be much more successful with getting people to fill it out, if they provided an online submission form. I can see many people ‘not bothering’ to do it because you have to mail the form in. We are such a technology driven society that it really makes sense to have an online form. It could mean the difference of an extra 1,000 people filling it out, you never know! Just my two cents.

Deciding to become an organ donor is a very personal decision and not one to be taken lightly. I am not here to tell you to fill out a consent form. I am here to help spread the word of this campaign and provide you with the resources to make an educated decision of your own.

I think this is such an important topic that doesn’t get enough attention in the media.

For more information visit:

US Donor information: http://www.organdonor.gov/

UK Donor information: Click here

Canadian Info: http://organdonations.ca/

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Every man dies. Not every man lives. ~Tim Robbins

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Salina September 23, 2009

I would like to start by saying I’m all for organ donation — I have actually been thinking about bone marrow donation as I’m told you can do this while you are still alive as it grows back.
I am, however, nervous of donating my organs. I think this fear stems from two things (both of which I think are unreasonable, but can’t shake..)
1. Firstly, that organ donation means death. and I am petrified of the moment of death–I fully believe in eternity afterward, but there’s that microsecond when you might be in limbo–will you be forgotten?
2. Secondly, I’m not the healthiest person on the planet. What if I’ve done so much harm in my life to my body, that my organs are useless? I know I sometimes struggle with my place in the world, and thinking about this makes me worry that even in death I’ll be of no use.

These reasons are silly I know.. Which is why I am an organ donor, because after all, I will be dead and don’t think I’ll really care what happens to my body at that point. But these are just my thoughts.

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Barbara September 23, 2009

I just signed up…for some reason I didn’t last time. This is a fantastic post and it gave me food for thought tonight. I try to take such good care of my body but should I meet an untimely death…it would be my honor to give another being something that saves or improves their life. That would be the greatest gift…

B

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amie September 23, 2009

i also just want to tell everyone how important it is to donate eye tissue. my friend was blind in 3 years while waiting for a donor which she just received. read her blog and you’ll be convinced:http://janascorneatransplant.blogspot.com/

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T September 23, 2009

I work on the other side of things, with patients who are found to be brain dead and are being prepared for organ donation. What I need to say is this: TELL YOUR FAMILY. BE CLEAR. There have been many instances when our patients had signed organ donation cards and their families went against their wishes and declined donation. We have had patients go on to save the lives of MANY people. It would be a shame to not have your wishes carried out, whatever they are.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) September 23, 2009

You are very right. I told my family right away of my wishes so everything is clear. :)

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Heather September 23, 2009

Thank you for signing your card! Our family has been on both ends of the organ donation. When my only brother died, my parents allowed whatever organs were needed to be used to save lives. When my uncle died, his skin was harvested (sorry that sounds bad) for someone to have fresh, healthy skin during their burn recovery. When my Mom died, her corneas went to help someone see again.

On the flip side, my cousin’s infant daughter received a heart from another infant who lost their life. It was tragic to think what had to happen for Hannah to live but she’s now 4 & running around like a little girl should.

Organ donation is the one selfless way we can give to someone when our time on the Earth is over!

Thanks for sharing this :)

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Jess September 23, 2009

Hi Angela,
In the US this is asked on your driver’s license form and displayed on your license. I have been an organ donor since I received my license when I was 17. It truly is a wonderful thing and I encourage everyone to have this put on their driver’s license or ID card.

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Crystal September 23, 2009

Hi Angela – I am glad you decided to become a donor! In Colorado (not sure about the rest of the US) we are asked when we get our drivers license if we want to be a donor and there is a red heart on it if you choose to donte. I guess this is so if there is an accident, they know right away. Is this not the case in Canada, or even the rest of the US? I am just curious to know!

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Jess September 23, 2009

Yes, this is the case in the rest of the United States.

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Nikki T September 23, 2009

In Alberta, you sign the back of your Alberta Health Care card- I guess if there was an accident they should be able to look in your wallet and find your AHC card, but maybe not everyone carries it with them…
The license heart is a good idea!

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Jenn October 8, 2009

When you appear to renew your OHIP (health card)in Ontario you are asked if you wish to donate your organs. They actually take it a step further and ask you if you have any objection to them being donated for research or if you just wish for them to be donated for transplat purposes.

I am proud say I have signed up to be an organ donor.

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Jenna September 23, 2009

Organ donation is a wonderful thing, my husband died about 9yrs ago and we were able to donate and help 33 people. As hard as it was at least we know that that many and many
more lives were saved…

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Crystal September 23, 2009

I’ve had my card signed since I was 17 and a few years back signed it again so that an image would be added to my Health Card to tell people that I am a Organ Donor!

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