11 July 2012

take all of me.

this is my personal story about organ donation.

my dad died of a stroke, due to complications from a surgery to remove a massive cancerous brain tumor from inside his skull. when i say massive, i mean the size of three adult fists. massive. anyway. my dad was a registered organ donor, and my mother -- also a registered donor -- made the decision to comply with his wishes to be such. they took his kidneys, heart, liver and pancreas. they found matches for each, minus the pancreas.

at the time, i took solace in knowing that my dad's death had saved the lives of four other people.

almost twelve years later, that hasn't changed.

when i die, i want every part of my body that can be used, to be used. i'm dead. i have no need for internal organs. for corneas. for muscle. for bones. for limbs. no need, whatsoever. whatever cannot be used can be cremated. or, my whole body can be donated to science -- to a medical school. so that doctors-to-be can practice their procedures on me, rather than on living people.

i'm dead. i am not my body. i have no need for corneas. for kidneys. for lungs. for skin. no need. but, if there is a person out there who is in need of such things, i want to help. in life, all i want is to positively impact the lives of those within my sphere of influence. if, in death, i am able to continue helping? to add some time to the life of someone else's loved one? then i want to do so.

i, personally, don't understand why someone -- outside of religious restrictions -- would refuse to let their death bring life to others. i think there are many misconceptions about organ donation. about doctors not trying their hardest to keep you alive, or about not being able to have an open casket funeral, or about eligibility requirements. which is why i think organ donation should be an opt-out system, instead of an opt-in system. however, that is another discussion, entirely. but. if you are not an organ donor, and have no desire to be, please. explain to me your thought process. you are dead. you are not using your organs. why not give them to someone else? why not?

there is a man named barney who has my dad's kidney. he has a number of grandchildren. he and his wife, francie, recently moved to minnesota -- where they are able to do all the snowmobiling they want. each christmas, my family receives a christmas card from francie, updating us on barney's condition. he's healthy. he's happy. he has been able to see his grandchildren grow. and he has time left. time to golf. time to snowmobile. time to play with his loved ones. time to share his wisdom with them. to help them become the types of people who create a better world than the one they were given. all this, because of a kidney.

and there are three other people who have been given the same opportunity. because of one man.

give the gift of life. register to be an organ donor.

bye for now.