Be A Donor, Be A Hero

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Be A Donor, Be A Hero

Claire Bevec

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I was born with an extremely rare kidney and liver disease called ARPKD/CHF. I went my entire life being told that I would never live to see the most important days of my life. Not my first day of high school, graduation, or even my wedding day.

When I was 9 years old it looked as if this bleak future might ring true as I became extremely sick very fast. I was taken out of school because I was unable to go up one flight of stairs without having to sit and rest halfway up.

An organ donation saved my life. A family friend donated his kidney to me on my death bed. Because of him, I am alive today. Because we only need one kidney to live, my donor was a living donor. However, there is a huge shortage of deceased donors and the demand is ever-growing.

Would you like to be considered a hero? Maybe even a superhero It’s not that hard. You could save or improve up to 8 lives by becoming an organ donor today. Consider these statistics:

  • There are more than 114,000 men, women, and children on the national transplant waiting list as of August 2017.
  • 20 people die each day waiting for a transplant.
  • 95% of U.S. adults support organ donation but only 54% are actually signed up as donors.
  • Every 10 minutes another person is added to the waiting list.
  • Only 3 in 1,000 people die in a way that allows for organ donation.

So how can you help? Become an organ donor.

One single organ and tissue donor can save or improve the lives of more than eight people, helping to restore eyesight, damaged tissues or vital functions. To give an idea of the impact of organ donors, in 2014, there were 29,532 transplants in the U.S. from just 14,412 donors.

Anyone can be a potential donor regardless of age, race or medical history. Donation professionals review medical history to determine if you can donate. With recent advances in transplantation, more people can donate than ever before.

Adults can also make living donations, meaning that living adults can choose to give an organ, like a kidney, or part of an organ, like a liver, to someone in need.

There is no cost to a donor’s family for donating organs and tissues. All costs directly related to the organ donation are paid for by the organ procurement agency.

However, there are many misconceptions when it comes to organ donation. Here are some myths and facts about organ donation.

Myth #1 – Doctors won’t try to save my life if they see that I am an organ donor.

Fact – When you are sick or injured and admitted to a hospital, the one and only priority is to save your life. Period. Donation doesn’t become a possibility until all lifesaving methods have failed.

Myth #2 – Celebrities, rich people, and famous bribe there way up to the top of the organ list.

Fact – A national computer system matches donated organs to recipients. The factors used in matching include blood type, time spent waiting, other important medical information, how sick the person is, and geographic location. Race, income, and celebrity are NEVER considered.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Myth #3 – I won’t be able to have an open casket at my funeral.

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.

So now that those misconceptions are out of the way, what’s stopping you? Don’t know how? It’s simple.

Go to www.organdonor.gov and sign up today. It takes less than 5 minutes to do so. Be a hero. Be a hero today.