Friday, January 11, 2013

The Odds of a Transplant

When I moved to North Carolina in mid-1989, as I applied for a driver’s license I was given the choice of donating my organs and cornea (eyes) when I die.  Anyone who checked “yes,” as I did, has a “heart” sign on the front of their license next to the expiration date.

I just learned that a record of my decision is also in a registry maintained by Donate Life North Carolina, based in Winston-Salem, about 90 miles west of where I live in Durham.

I wasn’t aware of the organization, even though I have had friends from across the state undergo transplants here at Duke University.  Donate Life NC came to my attention after the executive director, Sharon Hirsch, who also lives in Durham, commented on one of my posts this week.

If you were unsure when you got your driver’s license at NCDMV or you have changed your mind, that isn’t the only place you can register to be an organ and tissue donor.  To update your registration with DMV or to register for the first time, click on Donate Life NC or Donate Life America.

On the Donate Life NC home page, click on register or update registration.  If you registered with NCDMV, click on update and then update DMV, enter your driver’s license number and date of birth so you’re existing registration will come up.  There are more specifics to provide here than were given when you got your license such as donating tissue.

As of today, according to the US Department of Health & Human Services, there are 127,020 people in America waiting for an organ transplant. Each day an average of 74 people will receive an organ and another 18 will die waiting.

One organ donor can save up to 8 lives!

There are 3,740 people in North Carolina waiting for a transplant including 1,918 with my blood type.  Nationwide, last year only 10,213 people with my general blood type were able to receive organ transplants including just 384 in North Carolina.  Click here to check your state.

In North Carolina there are more than 4.3 million people who registered as organ donors through NCDMV or 52.09% of all holders of driver’s licenses (or ID card holders) so you can see the odds.

That certainly isn’t enough!

This isn’t coming to mind because I will be 65 in July and entering a new stage of live, it is because my daughter and my two grandsons, ages 7 and 9 respectively, are never far from my thoughts.

Do you really need those organs after you die?  Think about it.

No comments: