I’ve been a registered organ donor for the past 25 years and recently renewed my details and confirmed my registration. Going to the website to register and completing the online form is the only thing that is required these days. Back when I first registered and received my little ”membership card” we still relied on the postal services. These days it is just one click away…one click and you can actually save 7 lives.
I know many people disagree with me about this, but it makes me feel that my death would actually MEAN something. I’m sure all of us have, at some point, experienced the loss of a loved one. I remember, years ago, when we lost a child, it made me wonder how it is at all possible that the sun came up the next morning…..nothing in the world changed…life went one for all and we were left with all the sorrow and pain. The same happened years later when I lost my sister and both my parents…..there were no trumpets, no fuss or fanfare….their lives just ended. Our lives went on, children returning to school, we had to start working again, cleared up their stuff….the things that were so very important to them when they were alive. It was almost as if their lives meant NOTHING….they were just there for a while and then…poof…gone. All we had left were memories, and those will soon enough be forgotten. This is exactly the reason why I’ve decided to become an organ donor all those years ago….I know my life means little to others in the world and, frankly, I don’t care about that at all. I don’t want people to fuss over me and the little I try to do on earth doesn’t even make a dent in the enormous amounts of poverty and emotional needs there are in the lives of others. Becoming an organ donor will mean that, finally, after years of tackling the needs of others I would be able to REALLY make a difference, I would actually be SAVING LIVES.
Many people believe that the body is sacred and I suppose it is, in many ways. We are, after all, creations of God….every one of us. What we forget, however, is that this body is not the thing that lives on after we are gone. This body is just a vessel for the soul. This body means nothing….this doesn’t imply you shouldn’t take care of it, no, respect the body that you’ve been blessed with, accept it and be glad that you can have a means of ”transporting” the soul, the id, inside….that part of you that is, in fact, the sum of who you are. But having a body, one that will eventually become the dust from which it was made, a body that has organs…skin, heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, etc…blood and marrow that can actually HELP others would mean that even this shell left behind after we are gone can have meaning and purpose. It can ”pay it forward”…”pay LIFE forward”….consider it then…
And in view of this I challenge you all….register as organ donor NOW. It is free (donations are NOT compulsory) and you can help someone else live a longer and healthier life, despite the fact that you may lose yours. Don’t let your death be without hope, without purpose…..go to http://www.odf.org.za to register or to http://organdonorawareness.org/ for more information. Not in South Africa? Contact your health care provider to find out more about organ donation in your country.
- Australian Organ Donor Register
- Organ transplantation in Israel
- Organ transplantation in China
- MOHAN Foundation
- Sri Lanka Eye Donation Society
- Donate Life America
- www.organdonor.gov – United States
- www.organdonation.nhs.uk – United Kingdom
- European Society for Organ Transplantation
- Wikipedia on Organ Donation