Monday, March 5, 2012

This Applies to You

Organ donation is a wonderful thing. It saves lives. Up to 8 lives per organ donor, in fact. And up to 50 more lives can be greatly improved by one organ donor. These are things we know. Many of us have loved ones who have donated or received a donation, and we know the importance, we've seen the gratitude, we've felt the heartache and the pride. 

But for many people in our nation, the subject of organ donation doesn't mean much. It's just something they get asked about and brush aside at the DPS/DMV. And because it hasn't touched their lives on a personal level, they don't realize that the subject applies to them. It applies to everyone. 

In February, three families were devastated when their sons were the victims of shootings. One of the young men was shot just a few blocks from his home in New York. The other two young men were victims of a school shooting in Ohio. Three young men lost futures--lost their chance to grow and progress. Three families lost brothers and sons. Children who should never have to see that kind of violence lost 3 friends. And it happened mindlessly. It happened in an instant. 

Despite these tragedies, the 3 families chose to give the gift of Life. All 3 boys were organ donors, and their memory lives on in the many, many lives that their gift will now touch.
We are all human. We are all fragile, and we live in an uncertain world. We don't know how long we have on this earth or what we will be asked to sacrifice. We can only make the most of every day we are given and make the choice to give back as much as we can. In these ways we are all connected. In these ways organ donation applies to us all.