I am proud to say that since the day I turned 16 and got my driver’s license I have been an identified organ donor. Although no one in my family has ever needed the life saving measures of organ donation, I do know a good friend, (I may have mentioned her once or twice – Mel) whose son Owen was an organ donor at the age of 6 months old. Although Owen’s story is sad and tragic, his story continues. His liver gave a little girl the time she needed to survive, and his heart is beating in another little girl’s chest helping her fight the fight of a lifetime. Owen’s kidneys were given to research in the hopes of saving many many more. There is beauty in Owen’s ultimate gift that was given almost a year ago.
Here are some facts may help you better understand organ, eye, and tissue donation from www.organdonor.gov:
Fact: Anyone, regardless of age or medical history, can sign up to be a donor. The transplant team will determine at an individual’s time of death whether donation is possible.
Fact: Most major religions in the United States support organ donation and consider donation as the final act of love and generosity toward others.
Fact: If you are sick or injured and admitted to a hospital, the number one priority is to save your life.
Fact: When matching donor organs to recipients, the computerized matching system considers issues such as the severity of illness, blood type, time spent waiting, other important medical information, and geographic location. The recipient’s financial or celebrity status or race does not figure in.
Fact: An open casket funeral is usually possible for organ, eye, and tissue donors. Through the entire donation process, the body is treated with care, respect, and dignity.
Fact: Every state provides access to a donor registry where its residents can indicate their donation decision.
Fact: Federal law prohibits buying and selling organs in the U.S. Violators are punishable by prison sentences and fines.
Fact: People can recover from comas, but not brain death. Coma and brain death are not the same. Brain death is final.
Facebook has even jumped on board and you can add to your timeline that you are an organ donor! Did you know that right now there are more than enough people waiting for an organ to fill a large football stadium twice over?
It’s such a bitter sweet thing to talk about what to do after I die, I hope I live a very long and prosperous life, I hope I get to see my babies grow up – get married and have their own babies, but we aren’t guaranteed anything in this life, and if this body can take away the hurt that my family would be feeling from another family then I’m all for it. I believe that God has an ultimate plan for each of us, and Jesus Christ dying on a cross for our sins tells us that life is anything but fair. A few words from a blog that I came across while doing some research, Le Ombre e la Luce, said it so well:
“Jesus himself said: “I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!” The reason God gave you life is so that you would have something precious to give back to Him. The reason God gave you more than you need is so that you would have to give to those who do not have. Our God is full of compassion and He loves to give; he is constantly giving to us so that we may give to others what we receive from Him.”
I encourage each of you to do some research, and if you feel so moved become an organ donor, or if God forbid something happens to someone you love who hasn’t been able to make that decision for themselves – make it – keep that pain from someone else. You can register your donation wishes here: http://donatelife.net/register-now/
Dear God, please hold tightly to those waiting for the live saving measures of an organ donation, and please be with the families of those who make the miraculous donation – it’s the ultimate gift of life. Thank you for Your sacrifice of your Son who was innocent but died for our sins giving us the gift of life. In Your name I pray. Amen
Dear Tucker, This is the first week of my ten week awareness challenge. Today I’m advocating Organ Donation. As I look down at my left wrist I think about Owen and I think about the little girls who are alive because of him, and I think about the selflessness of Mel and Doug when they made that decision for Owen. Owen as you know has had a big impact on our lives, he’s touched our souls and helped to make us better Christians. I hope that every story of tragic loss has the opportunity to have a new beginning of happiness in the life of another. I want you to remember that this is what I want, if I am able to donate my life to another. The gift of another day isn’t promised to anyone, but in 2011 - 28,535 Organ Transplants were performed offering another day to those families. What a wonderful gift. Owen taught us to treasure every day, every hour, every minute and rejoice in those because tomorrow isn’t promised, but the joy of today can be. I refuse to live in fear that I may not be with you tomorrow – I choose to share in the joys of today, and pray for a tomorrow. I love you more than anything, and that little smile lights up my world in the darkest of days. You are my sunshine Tuckey-Tot! ♥ mom