Friday, October 7, 2011

Steve Jobs: What We Learn from His Liver

I will be honest with you all. I didn't know much about Steve Jobs until yesterday when my Facebook feed was blown up with news about his passing. I mean-- occasionally my business-minded hubby would spout off something about Apple stock, but apart from that-- he was just the owner of Apple to me. But the more I read, the more impressed I am. Really. The man, if nothing else, was a brilliant entrepreneur. But he was also a cancer-fighter & the recipient of a liver transplant on top of being CEO of Apple. The man had serious will power.

While doing a little reading about Mr. Jobs, I came across this rather frightening statistic: "According to the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network, 15,771 people are currently waiting for a liver in the United States. Last year, 1,481 people died waiting for a donor liver, almost all of which come from the recently deceased. The national average waiting time for a transplant is about a year..."

15,771 people waiting for a liver. Just for a liver! And because they are waiting for a transplant, that means they are in critical condition. Many of them wait longer than a year, and many of them aren't able to make it that long. This is serious business. Unfortunately the only way to better these numbers is to get others to recognize the worth of the people around them and to consequently recognize the importance of becoming a donor.

It's a good fight we are fighting. Just keep on keepin' on, and gradually we will see those numbers decrease.

Happy weekend, everyone!

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Hard Facts

The simple truth is that, despite the simplicity of registering to become an organ donor, only 38% of licensed drivers in the United States are actually registered donors. Maybe you've had a loved one receive an organ. Maybe you have known someone who has died waiting for one. But one way or another, you are most likely here because you know how important organ donation is. And we appreciate your support.

Being informed on the topic is the best place to start in promoting awareness. Here are some facts that really drive home the necessity and urgency of increasing donor awareness.
  1. 104,748 U.S. patients are currently waiting for an organ transplant; more than 4,000 new patients are added to the waiting list each month.
  2. Every day, 18 people die while waiting for a transplant of a vital organ, such as a heart, liver, kidney, pancreas, lung or bone marrow.
  3. Because of the lack of available donors in this country, 4,573 kidney patients, 1,506 liver patients, 371 heart patients and 234 lung patients died in 2008 while waiting for life-saving organ transplants.
  4. Nearly 10 percent of the patients currently waiting for heart transplants are young people under 18 years of age.
  5. Acceptable organ donors can range in age from newborn to 65 years or more. People who are 65 years of age or older may be acceptable donors, particularly of corneas, skin, bone and for total body donation.
  6. An estimated 12,000 people who die each year meet the criteria for organ donation, but less than half of that number become actual organ donors.
(Information provided by the National Kidney Foundation)

If you know anyone who has questions or reservations regarding becoming an organ donor, Life Gift is a great place to refer them. Also, please visit the TK Foundation website to see how easy becoming an organ donor really is!

Thank you for helping us make a difference!