Even before My Kidney Donation Journey with my sister, I was always a firm believer in organ donation. I registered online many, many years ago for both my children and myself. I know organ donation saves lives and I couldn’t live with myself if I allowed those valuable organs and anything else they can transplant, to be cremated along with me, after I die. (I know, I know, I would be dead anyways and I wouldn’t have to live with myself ) I just added that for a little chuckle.
I found this hilarious and fantastic video on the Kidney Foundation of Canada’s Facebook Page. Please watch it. It really is great. I love Rick Mercer.
Organ and Tissue Donation is a good thing. It is not for everyone and that is fine, but there are so many people who want to donate and have not registered. Here are some facts that I have taken off of the Canadian Transplant Society Website:
- Every year, too many people die while waiting for organ donation.
- Over 1600 Canadians are added to the organ wait lists yearly
- A 90% majority of Canadians support organ and tissue donation but less than 25% have made plans to donate.
- One donor can benefit more than 75 people and save up to 8 lives
Since my Kidney donation surgery, I have also become a blood donor. I realized there was a very small chance that while in surgery I could need a blood transfusion. I didn’t feel comfortable taking from a system I had not yet contributed to.(Luckily, I didn’t need it) So I took my son and we both went and registered together. They wouldn’t let me donate because it was too close to my surgery date, however I did donate after my recovery period and the donor clinic gave me the green light to do so. I continue to donate regularly. I am so glad I brought my teenage son with me. It was a really great thing for us to do together and now he donates on a regular basis. He is very proud that he is a blood donor and he has brought his girlfriend in on it with him. They both do it together, they are way too cute together. 🙂 He makes posts on Social Media and talks about it openly. I would love to see more of this happening among the younger generation.There are some of course, but most of the time I go to donate, the age demographic is forty plus. It always brings me a hopeful feeling when I see younger donors.
This is a topic we should be talking more about. If you are registered, don’t keep it a secret. It is something you should be proud of. Share your decision with your family and friends. Talk about it. Lets create a dialog around this subject. You don’t think it will ever be an issue for you, or a loved one, but it surely can. In a blink of an eye, you could be diagnosed with organ failure or a condition which causes organ failure. It happened to my sister, a perfectly healthy young woman. She exercised, didn’t smoke or do drugs and had a pretty healthy diet. Her kidneys still failed. If you want to read more about her story you can read my earlier posts (My Donation Journey part 1 and 2) I got this information from http://www.transweb.org/ , it is a Resource on Transplantation and Donation, put out by the University of Michigan Transplant Center. Here are a few conditions that can cause organ failure:
- Autoimmune Disease (This is what my sister had, causing her Kidney failure)
- Diabetes (Affecting the Kidney and the Pancreas)
- Hypertensive Nephrosclerosis, (Chronic High Blood Pressure causing Kidney damage)
- Coronary Artery Disease and Congenital Heart Disease (of course affecting the Heart)
- Emphysema/COPD (affecting the Lungs)
- Cirrhosis due to viral hepatitis, Cirrhosis due to fatty liver, Cirrhosis due to alcohol, and Cirrhosis due to autoimmune disease (all affecting the Liver)
The Canadian Transplant Society:
For the Province of British Columbia, The BC Transplant Website:
For American readers here is a link to website where you can choose your state and register:
Canadian Blood Services Website:
American Red Cross for donating blood: