Be An Organ Donor
Many people who need transplants of organs and tissues cannot get them because of a shortage of donations. Of the 113,000+ Americans currently on the waiting list for a lifesaving organ transplant, approximately 93,000 need a kidney. In 2018, there were 21,167 kidney transplantations performed. The average waiting time for a kidney from a deceased donor is 3 to 5 years. Organ and tissue donation helps others by giving them a second chance at life. Each of us has the power to save up to 8 lives by becoming an organ donor.
Identifying yourself as an organ and/or tissue donor is simple. Simply visit the Donate Life America website (https://registerme.org/) to join your state’s online registry for donation. You can also declare your intentions on your driver’s license.
Signing up online through your state registry or on your driver’s license is a good first step in designating your wishes about donation, but letting your family or other loved ones know about your decision is vitally important. Family members are often asked to give consent for a loved one’s donation, so it’s important that they know your wishes.
You can also consider being a living kidney donor. Living donation takes place when a living person donates an organ or part of an organ to someone in need of a transplant. The donor is most often a close family member, such as a parent, child, brother or sister. A donor can also be a more distant family member, spouse, friend or co- worker. Non-directed donors – those who donate anonymously and do not know their recipients – are also becoming more common.
SOURCE: Donate Life America, www.donatelife.net
CONVERSATION STARTERS ABOUT KIDNEY DONATION
More than half of all people in need of a kidney transplant do not even ask one person to donate.
Sharing your thoughts about your condition and treatment options is one way to open a conversation. When sharing, be open and honest about your situation and your feelings about it.
Social media is a great tool that helps spread the word of donation. You can write a message that tells your story and can be easily shared with family and friends and many more.
- Create a Facebook page that people can “like” to follow your journey.
- Make a video telling your story and share on your Facebook page.
Identify a Living Donor Champion from your close family and friends who can be your main supporter and voice for spreading the word about your kidney disease and your need for transplantation.
- Make a request in the bulletins of places of worship of family and friends.
- Create a flyer to hang in local area shops.
Be an advocate, learn as much as possible about transplant and donation and let your emotions about the whole process speak when talking with your family and friends.
Be careful and use common sense. Ask your transplant center for advice.
Other Helpful Websites to Visit: