I had a great day today with my wonderful husband and favorite valentine, Chris. I feel so lucky to have him in my life and with him I know what it’s like to be truly loved by a partner. But while most people concentrate on romantic love every February 14th, we must not let the chocolate and flowers serve as an excuse for us to forget to love of our fellow human beings. National Donor Day was started in the U.S. thirteen years ago expressly for this purpose — so each of us can share our gifts of love and life with those in need of an organ transplant.
Current figures on the U.S. Department of Health and Humans Services organ donation website indicate that 110,296 people are waiting for an organ transplant. Of those, eighteen will die each day while waiting. It’s tragic to think of all of the people who are placed on the waiting list and live out the last of their days hoping for a transplant. It’s even more tragic when you think that, with a little selflessness and just a few minutes of time, many of these lives might be saved. When I got my driver’s license almost sixteen years ago, checking the organ donor box was a no-brainer for me. If something happens to me and I’m no longer in the position to use my heart, my lungs, even my eyes, I’d like to think that some good could come from my family’s loss. And maybe they’d even be able to take comfort in the fact that my donation could possibly save up to eight lives.
To take part in today’s important “unofficial,” Chris and I signed ourselves up on Virginia’s Donate Life Registry. We are both already organ donors via our DMV paperwork, but this organ, eye, and tissue registry is more comprehensive and allows you to specify what kind of donation you’d like to make. For instance, you can opt to donate your organs to a patient, but not for medical research. Earlier this evening Chris also started filling out paperwork to add his name to the National Marrow Registry. I’d like to be put on this registry too, but I need to wait until my next doctor’s visit to see if I’ll be starting any medication for my probable diagnosis of Hashimoto’s Syndrome.
I feel good about today’s holiday. Chris and I hope to stay on this earth together for a long time, but it’s nice to know that if some tragedy did occur, at least something good may come from it.
Tomorrow is Susan B. Anthony Day!