Happy Valentine’s Day! I love all holidays, and I especially love celebrating a day of love and friendship. Our day started with a box of fresh donuts from Granny. Could it get any better? I gave Steph her Valentine’s gifts early (a necklace, some new essential oils we didn’t have, and some lovely perfumes made from essential oils. She’s a sucker for perfumes) because I was just too excited to wait, but she gave me a gorgeous notebook and some super cool erasable ink pens. She knows how to speak to my soul. She also bought me some kitchen accessories I’ve been eyeing for months, but she gave those to me a couple of weeks ago. Also, she is also planning a family date tonight. I don’t know what it is yet, but the boys and I are excited. Valentine’s Day really is one of the best holidays.
However, Valentine’s Day is not the only holiday that falls on February 14th. Today is also Organ Donor Day!
I know death and health issues are not in the forefront of most of our minds, especially on a day we have committed to hearts and love and chocolate and pink (all my favorite things), but for the 114,000+ people waiting on a life-saving organ, it is always on the mind. And to the families of the 20 people who will die waiting on an organ today, it’s an important holiday.
Why should YOU be an organ donor?
1. It is easy to sign up to become an organ donor and it doesn’t cost you anything.
It’s easy to register as an organ donor. Once you make the decision to donate,
- Register here.
- Sign up the next time you renew yoru driver’s license
- Make sure you talk to your friends and family–especially those who would have to make decisions on your behalf–and let them know exactly what your wishes are.
Being an organ donor is completely free for you and your family.
You do not have to pay to register.
Your family will not be charged for the medical procedures needed to test or remove your organs.
I know that an organ donor does technically have to pass on to become an organ donor. And that may seem like it is asking an awful lot. Especially since many people believe that if you are a registered organ donor the doctors will not take the same efforts to save your life as they would someone else. That’s a myth. Your doctor’s responsibility is to YOU and to save YOUR life, not someone else’s. If your doctor has done all s/he can do, then what good are your organs going to do for you? Do you really need them for whatever you believe happens after we die? Can you take them or use them? So why not donate them to someone else? Let someone else have life.
Which brings us to number 2
2. Being an organ donor is a great way to help other people.
One organ donor could save up to 8 lives.
That means 8 individual people have a chance for life because of you. It means that 8 mothers keep their kids for a few more years. 8 spouses will wake up to the love of their life longer than they expected. 8 children will have their parent there for their big–and small–moments. Imagine you are one of those 8 people and how grateful you would feel for the donation of another person.
While helping others, you would also be leaving a legacy.
If you have never watched the videos or people who have heard their loved one’s heart beating in another’s chest, you should grab some tissues and search YouTube. It is so beautiful and heartwarming to see how a person lives on through their organ recipient’s life. Generally, people who receive an organ donation do not take the gift lightly. They know the sacrifice that was made for them to have a chance at life.
This is one of my favorite videos about how a man’s legacy lived on. After he was murdered during a robbery, his heart was donated. A decade later, the donor’s daughter invited the recipient to walk her down the aisle at her wedding. I’m not kidding when I say grab some tissues. I’m fighting the tears as I type.
3. Literally anyone can be an organ donor. There are no age limits.
You can’t be too young.
Yes, you have to be 18 to officially register, but you can still have the conversation with your parents or guardians that if something happens to you, you would like for your organs to be donated. There are plenty of children on the waiting list who cannot receive organs from adults. Even though I could not register until I was 18, I had the conversation with my dad when I was in middle school that if something were to happen to me I wanted my organs to be donated.
You can’t be too old either.
There is not an age limit on your organs. The doctors will test and examine your organs to determine if they are healthy enough to be transplanted. Your age has no effect on the outcome of those tests.
I know it’s not the most pleasant thing to think about on Valentine’s Day…
…but I encourage you to consider becoming an organ donor (if you haven’t already). Have the conversations with your loved ones. After all, in the words of my favorite neurosurgeon, Dr. Derek Shepherd “It’s a beautiful day to save lives.”
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