The statistics on the need for organ donation are staggering. According to Donate Life America, there are 118,000 men, women and children who are waiting for an organ donation to save their lives. Every 10 minutes another person is added to the national waiting list. 22 people die per day because they were waiting for an organ donation. It’s hard to deny that the need is great. Only 54% of Americans are registered as organ donors while 95% think that it’s a good idea. It’s time to close that gap.
Preparing for this article, I have read many stories of families who have donated their loved one’s organs after their death. Over and over again I was struck by the stories and the courage it took for both the deceased and the living to make that brave choice. I also noticed that there were three benefits that each family saw as they went through the process of organ donation. If the statistics haven’t convinced you, let’s talk about the emotional benefits of organ donation.
The gift of life to someone with a terminal illness means so much, not only to the organ recipient and their family but also your family. Many families who have donated their deceased loved one’s organs talk about how they know their loved one would have been happy to know they had helped other people through their death. While a death has occurred and grief is inevitable, you have had a hand in saving another family from that same pain.
Champion the Cause
When you’re an organ donor or your deceased loved one was an organ donor, it gives you a cause to fight for. Families share how their experience has raised an awareness of the need for organ donation. You will see first hand the benefits of organ donation. During those times of mourning, there will be a purpose to move forward.
Love Lives On
If you and your loved ones are organ donors, you can know that a small part of you will live on by helping someone else’s body to function. Some donor families and recipients can stay in touch if desired so they can see the effect that their loved one had on others lives. What a reward to both the donor’s family and the recipient!
If you chose to become a donor, you have the chance to save up to 8 people’s lives through donating your organs, tissue, and corneas. Only 1 in 3 deceased organ donors are over 50. Organ donation is important for every age. Don’t delay in letting your wishes be known by your family and officially becoming an organ donor.
Become a Donor
When you’ve decided that you’d like to become a donor and live in Wisconsin, visit https://www.dmv.org/wi-wisconsin/organ-donor.php to get the process started. Once you’ve registered as an organ donor there are more ways to help!
- Making a monetary contribution online to the organ donation program via the Blood Center of Wisconsin website.
- Volunteering your time to the BloodCenter of Wisconsin.
- Encouraging your friends and family to register as organ donors.
One family of a donor discussed how their 21-year-old daughter had recently spoken to them about how she wanted to be an organ donor as they were eating dinner. Her family knew this was important to her through their discussion so when she unexpectedly passed away shortly thereafter, they were confident in fulfilling her wishes. Once you have decided to become a donor and registered, make sure to talk to your family as this can be an incredibly painful and difficult decision during your family’s time of loss. Once you have made your wishes known, you can rest in knowing that in life or death, you will be helping others.
April is National Donate Life Month! Share this article with your friends and family so we can help meet the need for organ donors!