At 16 years old, I went to the DMV to get my license. I checked the box to be an Organ and Tissue donor, and I used a woman behind me in line as my witness. It was a no-brainer for me, a decision I made on the spot without hesitation.
Who would have known that so many years later, I would be the one benefiting from the life-saving donation made by another? Instead of the one giving, (which is the sole thought I had when choosing to be an organ donor), I was the one receiving.
When Jax received his life-saving liver transplant at just six months of age, it was a gift that you can never ever imagine. It was so very special, but at the same time, we knew there was a tragedy on the other end. The conflicting realities are the most bittersweet feelings you could ever experience. Feelings that my words can't justly portray.
It was a most precious gift.
Our donor was a beautiful, vibrant and profound young man named Donald Blair. In his death, Don touched 50 lives because he was a donor.
One organ and tissue donor can save and improve the lives of over 50 others -- and so your decision to give matters.
Through my research and life as an organ donor, an advocate, and a recipient, I have learned so much and have heard many of the hesitations that keep people from registering to be a donor.
Today, I would like to highlight the important facts about organ donation and encourage you to check that box RIGHT HERE to become a donor!
HOW TO REGISTER
It’s simple! If you're not a donor, you can register online HERE. You simply select your state, fill out the form, and press send! Then share your decision to give with your family and friends.
YOUR LIFE IS FIRST
If you are taken to the hospital after an accident, it is the hospital's NUMBER ONE priority to save YOUR LIFE. Your status as a donor is not even considered until every effort has been made to save your life.
YOUR HEALTH SHOULDN’T PREVENT YOU FROM BEING A DONOR
Your age or health shouldn't stop you! Even if you're a drinker or a smoker, you have organs and/or tissues that can save a life! Organs have even been recovered from people in their nineties! Donation eligibility is determined by professionals at time of death, don't rule yourself out!
ALL RELIGIONS SEE DONATION AS AN HONOR
All major religions in the US support organ and tissue donation. Read your religion's statement on donation and talk to your religious leader.
YOUR FAMILY WILL NOT BE CHARGED MONEY
A donor's family will not have to pay for any medical expenses associated with the donation.
ORGAN DONATION SUCCESS RATE
Organ donation and transplantation is very successful! In the United States last year, over 26,750 people received organ transplants and over a million tissue transplants were performed!
PEOPLE YOU KNOW TOUCHED BY ORGAN DONATION -- and they had to wait their turn for an available organ -- just like us. There is no such thing as preferential treatment when it comes to organ and tissue donation. This is one of those things money can't buy. Celebrities and the rich, just like everyone else, wait on the transplant list until their required life-saving organ becomes available.
And, here are just a few. . .
- David Crosby (Musician)
- Greg Alman (Musician)
- Steve Jobs (Apple Founder)
- Mickey Mantle (Hall of Fame baseball player)
- Lou Reed (Musician)
- Tracy Morgan (Actor, Comedian)
- Natalie Cole (Musician)
- Gary Coleman (Actor)
- George Lopez (Comedian)
- Sarah Hyland (Modern Family)
- Mandy Patinkin (Actor)
Sometimes you have to put the brakes on and put everything into perspective. And today, I am pressing pause on the drama, and the entertainment the show holds to talk about something that really counts! Please take a moment to seriously consider being a donor. If you have already made the decision and you are a registered donor, thank you from the bottom of my heart! And spread the word by taking a photo of your license (covering up your info), and tweeting it @iamheathert #donatelife
If you haven't, I hope you will consider it for the first time or re-consider it with some of the facts I've provided here. Organ and tissue donation and transplantation provide a second chance at life for thousands of people each year. You have the opportunity to be one of the individuals who make these miracles happen.
By deciding to be a donor, you give the gift of hope for the thousands of individuals awaiting organ transplants and hope for the millions of individuals whose lives could be enhanced through tissue transplants.
Think about that -- if Don was not a donor, 50 people, including my little boy, would likely be living a very different life or would not have been able to sustain one.
I always say, the only thing you need intact when you pass-on is your soul! But there are so many people left behind, whose lives you can touch with the selfless act of organ and tissue donation.
You can think of it as the last call you will make or the most important call you will receive.
"DO NOT WAIT FOR THINGS TO HAPPEN TO YOU. . .MAKE THINGS HAPPEN TO YOU. You are responsible for the majority of your overall happiness; your success, your accomplishments, your life. Take control while you have time, the resources, and the energy. Practice on being the best possible person you can be. This is your one chance, please make it count"-- Don Blair (Note to Self, 2004)
LIKE, FOLLOW AND GET INVOLVED!
You all are amazing!
Now through the end of April, Yummie will donate $5 from every Yummie Tummie Patented 3-Panel Original Tank sold to Donate Life America. SHOP NOW FOR A CAUSE!