In the two years since I was given a second chance at life, approximately 13,000 people have died due to a lack of available organs for transplant. While I am thankful for my chance, I pray others get the needed second chance in order to move on.
Many of you know the story of my illness leading to the need for a lung transplant. Since receiving my transplant, I have had my share of ups and downs – a couple of illnesses have put me back in the hospital, but luckily I’ve been able to fight off the infections with the assistance of modern medicine and some great doctors.
According to Donate Life, the statistics are grim: currently there are 114,712 patients waiting for an organ. Of those, 1,737 are pediatric patients. Every 10 minutes another name is added to the national organ transplant waiting list.
In 2011 there were 28,535 organ transplants performed. Of those, there were 8,127 deceased organ donors and 6,017 living organ donors. Ninety percent of Americans say they support organ donation, but only 30 percent know the steps to take to be a donor.
After my ordeal, I have become an advocate for organ donation. Through flyers, brochures and e-mails, I’ve shared my story with anyone who will listen. Additionally, J&P Cycles has placed a link on their main homepage, where people can learn about organ donation. There they are directed to a website to sign up to be an organ donor, or they can simply read my story about successful organ donation.
The people at Donate Life started a campaign earlier this year to raise the number of registered donors to 20 million by the end of 2012. I’d like to challenge each of you learn the facts and register to be an organ donor. It may just save your life, or the life of someone you love.