Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Gift of Life

There have been a couple of events the past few weeks that have shown the impact being an organ and tissue donor can have on other people's lives.

Last week, the mother of an Appleton murder victim got to meet the man who received her son's heart after his death.  While it certainly doesn't replace having your son around, that mother is at least finding some solace in the fact that his death allowed another person to live a longer, healthier life.  And hopefully that will make his death seem a little less senseless than it was.

Then last Sunday, double heart transplant recipient Eric Compton finished second at the US Open golf tournament.  Compton was born with a condition that caused his own body to attack his heart muscles.  He got his first transplant when he was a teen--but that heart also failed on him--and in his late 20's he had to undergo a second transplant.  Today, he competes at the top level of golf with the heart of a teenage girl that was killed in a crash beating in his chest.

At her press conference last week, the mother of the murder victim talked about how proud her son was to register as an organ donor when he got his driver's license.  It reminded me of myself when I was 16 and looking forward to putting the orange sticker on my license as well. 

I can't imagine NOT wanting to be an organ donor.  It's not like you are going to be using them anymore when the curtain comes down on your life.  And you are going to be dead--so it's not like having them removed is going to hurt.  I am going to be cremated after my death, so why burn up a precious heart, kidneys, lungs or corneas when there is a long and growing list of people who could get years more use out of them.  To me, it seems kind of greedy to take them along to the grave (or the oven).

So why not register to become an organ and tissue donor today.  As we've seen recently, it is one of the greatest gifts you can ever hope to give.

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