Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Are You An Organ Donor? Myths and Facts Covered Here!

As you know the wife celebrated her 29th birthday last week. In our state that means it is time to renew your driver’s license.  I guess it’s a way for them to make some money and you can get an updated photo of yourself if you didn’t like the prior license photo. I swear though my wife always has a FANTASTIC driver’s license photo. Ok enough of that…….

But there is something that I find very important when it comes to driver’s licenses.   Anyone have a guess????? It’s actually something I really didn’t know I would be this passionate about today. 
At least in our state, they ask you when you renew your driver’s license “Would you like to be an organ donor?”  I already know my wife is an organ donor and she has been since the day she was able to drive.  The lady at the BMV desk asked her if she would still like to be an organ donor and she said of course. 

So where am I going with all this……..Well today I asked my wife this question…. “I forgot to ask you if they asked you about being an organ donor during your driver’s license renewal?”  She told me, “of course I said yes.”  She then said “She thought of me while she was there.”  Apparently, there was this late teenage girl who was asked the very same question.  “Would you like to be an organ donor?”  The teenage girl said “NO!”  She was with her mom according to my wife and the mom looked at her daughter with a shocked expression.  I guess the lady behind the desk asked the teenage girl again “Are you sure you would not like to be an organ donor?”  The teenage girl said “NO!” again. 

My wife said to me, “I don’t know why someone wouldn’t want to be an organ donor?”  I couldn’t agree more myself but you have to see this tale from both sides.  I am pretty sure that people say NO to organ donation because they actually do not know the facts about organ donation.  They just use the myths they hear about organ donation as a reason to say NO to becoming an organ donor. I will get into more details about organ donation shortly, but I want to take a step back as I have been surrounded with news in my own life about organ donation lately. 

Recently, my mom told me that her cousin who has cystic fibrosis was given the second chance at life about a year ago.  She had a double lung transplant surgery and is doing very well as I type this. She has the same exact two CF genes I have which really puts things into perspective for me.  Yes, it truly is scary and hit home when I heard this but I know it is the reality of this disease.  I can tell you this though; if it wasn’t for the generosity of her donor and donor family she most likely wouldn’t be here today.  I was told she now is very outspoken and even talks with patients on what to expect during lung transplant recovery.  I guess you could say being an advocate and raising awareness is in the family blood!!

Then today, I was catching up on some blogs that I read and I was shocked to read that a cyster in our CF community was knocking on heavens door this past month.  She had a double lung transplant surgery 2 years ago and her body was rejecting her lungs this past month.  There wasn’t much the doctors could do and it was questionable if she was going to get listed again on the transplant list for various reasons.  I was reading how she was struggling for every breath and the lung rejection was really taking a toll on her body. The doctors informed her that she only would have a short time left unless there was a miracle.

Well I am happy to say that her miracle did happen this past weekend.  She got her third chance at life and it truly is a miracle.  Not only does this disease impact the diagnosed but it impacts the diagnosed family.  She has a husband, a mom, a dad, brothers, and friends.  In this blog you can see how this truly impacted her husband

Again, if it was not for the generous individuals who elected to be an organ donor and the generosity of the organ donor family none of this would ever be possible for both my mother’s cousin and this young cyster.  In the time of sadness and mourning, there can be one last gift you can give before you leave this planet and that is the gift of life.  When you leave this planet you do not need to bring your lungs, skin, eyes, heart, liver, pancreas, bone, cartridge, intestines, or kidneys.  There are individuals who are waiting for that second, third, or fourth chance at life and you can give them that by being an organ donor.  Who knows it may be even you on the transplant list or someone who is very close to your heart. 

To be honest, I think the main reason why people do not become organ donors is because they have heard the myths of becoming an organ donor.  Below, are some of the myths and facts when it comes to organ donation and reasons why WE ALL SHOULD BE ORGAN DONORS.  If you click on this link below you will see some of the myths out there.

Here are some of the myths but click the link to get all of them.

Myth: If emergency room doctors know you're an organ donor, they won't work as hard to save you.
Fact: If you are sick or injured and admitted to the hospital, the number one priority is to save your life. Organ donation can only be considered after brain death has been declared by a physician. Many states have adopted legislation allowing individuals to legally designate their wish to be a donor should brain death occur, although in many states Organ Procurement Organizations also require consent from the donor's family.

Myth: When you're waiting for a transplant, your financial or celebrity status is as important as your medical status.
Fact: When you are on the transplant waiting list for a donor organ, what really counts is the severity of your illness, time spent waiting, blood type, and other important medical information.

Myth: Having "organ donor" noted on your driver's license or carrying a donor card is all you have to do to become a donor.
Fact: In most states, hospitals can legally proceed with organ, eye or tissue donation, without consent from next of kin, if you have a driver's license with an "organ donor" designation are have signed up with an organ donor registry. However, it's important to talk to your family about your decision to donate LIFE so they are aware of your wishes and will feel comfortable honoring them.

Myth: Only hearts, livers, and kidneys can be transplanted.
Fact: Needed organs include the heart, kidneys, pancreas, lungs, liver and intestines. Tissue that can be donated include the eyes, skin, bone, heart valves and tendons.

Myth: Your history of medical illness means your organs or tissues are unfit for donation.
Fact: At the time of death, the appropriate medical professionals will review your medical and social histories to determine whether or not you can be a donor. With recent advances in transplantation, many more people than ever before can be donors. It's best to tell your family your wishes and sign up to be an organ and tissue donor on your driver's license or an official donor document.

Myth: If you agree to donate your organs, your family will be charged for the costs.
Fact: There is no cost to the donor's family or estate for organ and tissue donation. Funeral costs remain the responsibility of the family.

Myth: Organ donation disfigures the body and changes the way it looks in a casket.
Fact: Donated organs are removed surgically, in a routine operation similar to gallbladder or appendix removal. Donation does not change the appearance of the body for the funeral service.

Myth: Your religion prohibits organ donation.
Fact: All major organized religions approve of organ and tissue donation and consider it an act of charity.

Here is a list of religions and their stance on organ donation

Lastly, here are some of the facts and reasons why WE ALL SHOULD BE ORGAN DONORS.  This data can be found on

Someone is added to the organ donation list every 10 minutes.  In one day, that is an additional 144 people who are added to the list.  At any one time there are over 100,000 people waiting on the transplant list. This number is enough to fill a large football stadium!!   Each day, an average of 79 people receive organ transplants while an average of 18 people die each day waiting for transplants.  The main reason for the 18 deaths is because there is a shortage of organs.   In 2010, there were almost 2.5 million deaths in the U.S.  Just imagine if every one of those persons had donated! There would have been more memories that could have been made for the ones who lost their life on the transplant list. 

Currently, there are more than 100 million people in the U.S who are signed up to be a donor.  That is NOT even half of the U.S. population!!  We need this number to increase and we need to increase it soon before more loved ones are lost while waiting for a life saving transplant.  If you are an organ donor I thank you not only for the possibility that I might need a lung transplant one day but you are saving lives. In fact, you can save up to 8 lives by becoming an organ donor.  You never know if a loved one will end up on the transplant list so why not make the last heroic gift before you leave this plant the gift of LIFE.

Right now, there are more than enough people waiting for an organ to fill a large football stadium twice over.

Data from and OPTN/SRTR Annual Report.
** Data include deceased and living donors.


Referenced websites.





First time in the cart!!!

Happy Happy Happy!!!

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