Be sure to be a donor

Sunday, April 13, 2014

CHANGE comes slowly to some people. For others, unfortunately, the notion of taking the initiative to help someone doesn’t come at all. A day after Volunteer Week, that’s an untimely observation. But for those people awaiting either an organ donation or death, it’s a sad fact.
At least there are some people with good intentions. But if they continue to tell themselves that the form they signed that came with their driver’s licence years ago will be found by someone upon their death and acted on, they need to think again.
Registering as an organ donor is different now, although it’s just as easy. Log onto beadonor.ca and register in three quick steps.
If you think you’re registered but aren’t sure, you can just as easily check your status.
As for everyone else who has surely heard about the campaign for organ donation and ignored it, please think again.
It is difficult to imagine living with the grim reality that a vital organ inside you is failing and that if you don’t get a new one, time will run out.
It is doubly difficult to imagine knowing this and knowing that an organ match can save you but that despite waiting, there is no sign of a heart, lungs, liver or kidney becoming available anytime soon.
Finally, and worse yet, must be the knowledge that thousands of people die and are cremated or buried with perfectly good organs intact — organs that could have been removed and transplanted into someone who will die without them if only the deceased had registered to be a donor and confirmed it with their family.
Apparently, even though some people do this, family members sometimes resist and refuse to authorize the harvesting of healthy organs for transplant.
The death of a loved one is difficult at best, but overcoming grief to think instead of preventing another death is something that can turn sorrow into an affirmation of life.
Today — right now — there are roughly 1,500 Ontario residents hoping to be one of the lucky ones to get a new organ. But there are not 1,500 organs available at any one time.
It is not simply a matter of one organ for one recipient, either. One organ can save up to eight lives.
Nor is it always a matter of life or death. In many cases, tissue donation can enhance up to 75 lives. Donation of skin, eyes, bone and heart valves can dramatically improve the lives of that many people living debilitated lives.
April is Be A Donor Month. Please arrange now so, upon your death, others may live or live a fuller and healthier life.
Your generosity and your family’s understanding will mean the world to someone else.