THE ULTIMATE GIFT
April is Donate Life Month. It is usually a month of many events and celebrations to raise awareness for organ donation. Transplant recipients demonstrate how grateful they are at this second chance of life. Donor families honor their loved ones and the lives they saved. Living donors celebrate the amazing opportunity they have been given to save another person’s life.
Blue & Green Support
People wear blue and green which are the designated colors for donate life, and in fact, there is an entire day dedicated to this and respectively called “National Blue & Green Day”. There are 5K walks and runs, flag raisings at hospitals, and other special community events. The overall goal is to raise awareness for how great the need is for organ donation, both deceased and living. The year’s Donate Life Month looks very different due to the pandemic, but thanks to social media we are still able to raise awareness and hold some virtual events.
In last month’s article, I asked if you would answer the call; the call to save another person’s life. I did answer that call 15 years ago and it was one of the best things I have ever done! A mom at our children’s school, and also a member at our church, shared with me that she was in need of a kidney and searching for a living kidney donor. I immediately asked what was needed to potentially become a living donor for her. O blood type was her answer.
“I’m O negative!” I replied, and asked what I needed to do next. I later learned that the positive or negative isn’t relevant.
It was at that moment I knew in my heart that I would be a match for this woman I barely knew. I also barely knew anything about living kidney donation, even though I was listed as an organ donor on my license should I pass away. I was about to learn a lot about organ donation and transplant as I embarked on a journey that allowed me to realize my purpose to save a life, and ultimately find my passion. A passion to raise awareness for organ donation through writing children’s books to “Help Others With Love”.
Six months after the day I offered my kidney to the mom I barely knew, we had the transplant surgery. On March 23, 2005, I was able to give the ultimate gift.
Manifesting Your Dreams
To learn more about my kidney donation and the children’s books I’ve written, please read my chapter in the inspiring book “Manifesting Your Dreams” which is titled “A Purpose Becomes a Passion”. This book can be found on Amazon. You are sure to be inspired by the twenty chapters, written by twenty different authors, that have made this book a best seller in multiple categories!
I want to close with some statistics to hopefully get you thinking about registering as an organ donor if you haven’t already.
In the U.S., there are currently approximately 113,000 men, women, and children waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant. This is more than the largest football stadium in America can hold.
Every 10 minutes another person is added to the National Transplant List.
8,000 deaths occur every year because organs are not donated in time.
22 people die each day because the organ they need is not available.
82% of these people are waiting for a kidney.
One donor can potentially save up to eight lives and enhance or heal the lives of 75 people. A deceased donor can donate a heart, liver, lungs, kidneys, pancreas and intestines. They can also donate corneas and tissue.
A living donor can donate a kidney and continue to live a normal healthy life. A living donor can also donate a portion of their liver. The liver is amazing and will regenerate and grow back within three months.
If my story, or these statistics, has inspired you to register as a donor please visit RegisterMe.org, and also be sure to share your wishes with your family so they can help honor this wish. If you are still on the fence about organ donation visit DonateLife.net for more information, or feel free to reach out to me directly with any questions. You can check out my children’s book collection; the Howl the Owl book series and “My Mom is Having Surgery-A Kidney Story” book at the time at howltheowl.com or Amazon.I’ve been told my books have helped plenty of adults understand organ donation.
Be someone’s hero if you can. “Share your spare" and “Help Others With Love”.
Stay tuned for next month’s article to hear some amazing hero stories!
Howl The Owl
Author, Brenda Cortez, Monthly Article