A very long time ago, I decided that the day I died, I wanted to have my organs donated. Perhaps it was remembering loved ones that died waiting for an organ, coupled with the fact that a close member of my family was saved by a bone marrow transplant. I also wondered, what is the point of having those organs go to waste, to decay after death? Those organs could save many lives. Most of us don’t think about these things, because we don’t like to plan for death. Perhaps we think that we make happen sooner if we even talk about it! I’d argue that organ donation is not about death, but rather about giving the gift of life when you pass on. Becoming an organ donor is giving families the possibility of having their loved ones around a bit longer.
ORGAN DONATION: THE FACTS
In the United States, 117,000 people are waiting for transplants and 45% of the population are registered organ donors. It is important to demystify organ donation, especially in minority communities where organ donors are needed. According to the Office of Minority Health, Minorities overall have a particularly high need for organ transplants because some diseases of the kidney, heart, lung, pancreas, and liver are found more frequently in racial and ethnic minority populations than in the general population. In Hispanic communities, there are high rates of diabetes, renal disease and heart disease for example. These illnesses can lead to organ failure.
According to OrganDonor.gov, in the United States: