why organ donation

This past week I spoke about organ donation 4 times.  There was a time in the last 4 years where talking this many times in a week would have exhausted me.  Instead, this week I was energized.  Why?  Easy…1.

Let me explain.

The facts we can tell you for certain is ONE person can SAVE up to 8 lives with lives saving organs.  ONE person can ENHANCE the lives of more than 300 people with bone, tissue and corneas.

When I spoke to the kids this past week I gave them these facts.  And then I promised to share with them how those numbers are wrong.

Here is what I know.  Those who are on the transplant have families.  Those who choose to donate have families.  No matter the size of these families, they are also impacted by organ donation.  And I have proof. Hell, I AM proof.

When you choose to be an organ donor, you do not only help the recipient, you help their family.  I know first hand because of the thank yous I received from Jay’s cornea recipients.  The recipients spoke of being so thankful for Jay’s gifts because now they could read to their grandchildren.  They were able to hike, knit and see their family again.  I challenge anyone to tell me that Jay’s donation of his cornea did not impact not only those recipients but also their families. Just from the two cornea transplants from Jay, it probably impacted no less than 25 people. Jay being a bone, tissue and cornea donor falls under the 300 or more people impacted.  Let’s do some math quick.  12 people per recipient.  300 *12 = 3,600

And by being a donor, you will no doubt have an impact on your own family.  How do I know this?  I am living PROOF.  Jay’s determination to be an organ donor has saved me not only from grief, but from myself.  From day 1 when that medical examiner found his drivers license and asked me if she could have the Iowa Donor Network contact me to those 2 days last week speaking about organ donation and sharing our story, his choice has saved me.  His choice helped me see our situation differently.  His death gave life.  This is amazing.  I have met so many incredible people because of his choice and I continue to share with others what he made sure I knew.  Organ donation saves lives.

More math quick.  3,600 (from the math above) * 2 (to include the donor family) = 7,200 people.  Knowing 12 people per family is grossly underestimated you can see where I say 300 isn’t even close to the number of people impacted by organ donation of ONE donor.

I finished each speech this last week letting those kids know that not only will you find a “Y” on my drivers license but I am also in the online registry.  I also told them they could bet their bottom dollar I posted on FB each time I was speaking.  And they could be assured they were not the only ones who knew where I stood in my decision.  My family and friends were also very aware of what I expect my family to do when the time comes.

So why organ donation…because one person can make an amazing impact on so many people…that is why.

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