Saturday, November 25, 2006

Share the Gift of Life

In Oklahoma we have an organization named LifeShare - Transplant Donor Services of Oklahoma (each state has their own organization).  Each year LifeShare produces a newspaper insert for distribution in all newspapers in the state of Oklahoma.  A few years back David Weckler (see previous posts 1 and 2) was the front page story for the insert (link to article).  I just received a copy of this year's insert and saw the picture of another friend's son, Tommy Edwards.

Both of these young men (David age 8 and Tommy age 15) left their families much earlier than anyone should, but both had lived a full life in their few years.  Each shared laughter and happiness with just about every person they bumped into during their comings and goings.  Not only did they encourage people during their life, they also encouraged several more after their deaths.

The families of David and Tommy recognized the fact that their sons would have wanted to share as much life as they possibly could, and as such, made the life giving decision during a very painful and traumatic period of their life.  They allowed for others to live as a result of the death of a loved one.


I have been registered as an organ donor for as long as I can remember.  I have heard plenty of people attempt to make arguments against being a donor, with the most used line being:

If I'm a listed as a donor, emergency room staff won't work as hard to save me in case of a major accident

All I have to say to that is: HOGWASH!  If you are sick or injured and admitted to a hospital, the number one priority will always be to save your life.  Organ donation can only be considered after brain death has been declared by a physician.


Some facts about Donation:

  • More than 94,000 people are on the nationwide organ donation transplant waiting list and tens of thousands more are in need of corneas and other tissue.
  • Last year, 6,582 of those on the national list died.
  • In 2005, 32% of those on the waiting list received a transplant, equaling 28,108 organ transplants.
  • Nationwide, 44,329 cornea transplants were performed (283 in Oklahoma)
  • Every 11 minutes another name is added to the waiting list.
  • Every 90 minutes someone on the waiting list dies. is nationwide 'clearinghouse' of information for organ donation.  On their homepage is a map of the United States with links to each states primary organ donation registration center.  If you haven't registered as a donor yet, please take a few minutes to seriously consider the option.  I have a feeling if you had a family member on the waiting list, you would want as many people as possible signed up as a donor. has several advertising pieces on their site to promote registration.  This one jumped out the most to me, so I thought I would share it here:

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