Thursday, April 16, 2015
Organ Donation: The Greatest Gift
April is Organ Donation Awareness Month, so I've decided to repeat this post from my first A to Z Challenge in 2011. I've updated my brother's age, and number of years since his kidney transplant.
The Chicago Tribune cover story, Just a Liver Transplant Among Friendly Neighbors, by Michelle Manchir, told how two residents in a suburban subdivision banned together to save their friend who needed a liver transplant. A 41 year old man who was suffering from the same rare liver disease that took Walter Payton's life, was fortunate enough to have one neighbor offer to "remove a portion of the donor's liver and place it in the ill person's body. The liver is the only interior organ that regenerates--typically in about three months."
When the surgeon found scarring on the first woman's liver, another neighbor offered to take her place. Now all three neighbors "share surgery scars above their belly buttons." They are doing well , and the recipient is thankful to both women for risking their lives to save his. According to the recipient, "They really don't act like it's anything special. They're just crazy, wonderful, amazing people."
Both my husband and my brother received organ donations. My husband underwent two cornea transplants, and my brother received a healthy kidney almost 10 years ago.
Due to a complicated medical history, my brother was told that he could be on a waiting list for 5-10 years or longer. Fortunately, he received a call a year and a half later on his 47th birthday from the transplant team. He owes his life to a cadaver donor.
Today, my brother is a healthy, energetic 56 year old who often wears his nephews out whether they're lifting weights or playing basketball. He strongly believes that "everyone should be a donor regardless of religious beliefs, because you can save several lives by donating your organs. It's morally wrong to be a recipient and not a donor."
April is Organ Donation Awareness Month, and it's easy to become a donor by checking off the box when you renew your driver's license. or by registering at organdonor.gov. Our family is extremely grateful for the gifts we've been given, and we're proud to pay it forward.
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I agree The Greatest Gift, wonderful topic for letter "O"ReplyDelete
I wonder what my doctor would say about it. Thanks, I'll write down the link!ReplyDelete
Yvonne - Thank you, Yvonne!ReplyDelete
Dixie - Great idea to talk to your doctor. Thank YOU, Dixie!
I believe in recycling and that most things are reusable. Donor is marked on my license.ReplyDelete
Signed my donor card years ago.ReplyDelete
Crazy, wonderful, amazing Neighbors!!!! A very special story...your family's experiences, too. An inspiring and important Letter 'O' post.ReplyDelete
Sue at CollectInTexas Gal
AtoZ 2015 Challenge
Minion for AJ's wHooligans
I am sure I read this four years ago, but I didn't remember it. Wonderful neighbors, amazing liver to regenerate itself.ReplyDelete
What a beautiful story, and thanks for the reminder. This is a great way to give back. I'd also like to give back to the environment with a "green" burial, meaning no embalming fluid, which is harmful to the environment, and no coffin.ReplyDelete
That's wonderful both your husband and brother benefited!ReplyDelete
Wonderful story, Julie! I checked that box on my license renewal years ago. :)ReplyDelete
I'm an organ donor. My parts may not be the best, but if someone wants them (when I DIE) they're welcome to them.ReplyDelete
excellent O word and thing to do. No one would want my eyes, but other than that it's all good.ReplyDelete
Definately a post worth repeating! Wonderful news about your family, and a worthy cause to share information on. I didn't know April was it's month, so you've opened my eyes. Thank youReplyDelete
Sandy at Bridge and Beyond
This is so true and when someone can live because a person decided to be a donor-they deserve a medalReplyDelete
Wonderful post, Julie! It's amazing how many people can be helped and lives saved by organ donation.ReplyDelete
Hi Julie - yes I am a donor available should something happen. Wonderful story about your brother and your husband ... there's a lady here whose daughter is the longest surviving heart-lung transplant - 20+ years .. amazing ..ReplyDelete
Such a necessity in this day and age .. cheers Hilary
Oh wow, I remembered this post as soon as I started reading it. So happy your brother is still doing so well.ReplyDelete
Very inspiring. Yes. It's wrong to be willing to receive and not to give.ReplyDelete
I'm a donor card holder for the past 25 years and I hope my family loss (in many years, I hope!!) will be a blessing to another family in need.ReplyDelete
Great post! Sign those cards, everyone, and tell your family you want to donate.ReplyDelete
What a heart wrenching loss when a donation could save a recipient. My card it signed, has been for decades.ReplyDelete
Not sure if folks would want my organs. They're complicated little things. :)ReplyDelete
Julie, how I love this story. I wish your family the very best.ReplyDelete
I'm an organ donor! I think it's hard for people to except their own mortality, so they don't check the box. But everyone (with some exceptions) dreams of being a hero and they can be a hero just by checking a box. Happy for your family!!!ReplyDelete
You can find me here:
It's wonderful to see so many generous organ donors here! It truly is the greatest gift!ReplyDelete
My apologies for not responding to individual comments today, though I was able to get a couple comments in before I went to sleep last night. I was running around all day today, and my mom was admitted to the hospital late tonight. My brother and I were more concerned than our mom was, and she still managed to provide plenty of future blog fodder for a later post.
I'll try my best to catch up with your blogs over the weekend. Thanks for being so supportive. It really means a lot to me.
Oh I hope your mom is OK and that you can get some reast-thoughts are with youDelete
I'm sorry to hear about your mom's hospitalization. I just signed up to be a donor this year.ReplyDelete
Thanks Birgit and Kathryn! My mom felt a little better today. It's great that you're both donors!ReplyDelete
I've been a signed up donor for years! Excellent reminder for all of us!ReplyDelete