April is National Donate Life Month, and because I have experienced it firsthand, I believe in organ donation. I have been blessed twice – first with a heart transplant 10 years ago, and last December I received a double transplant – a heart and a kidney. Because of my donors’ decisions to become organ donors, and their families’ complying with their wishes, I am living life to the fullest. I have lived to see my three children get married, and I became a grandmother for the first time last week.
I celebrate 38 years of marriage this year. I enjoy hiking and bicycling; camping and bluegrass festivals; playing the organ and autoharp; and spending time with my family. I honor my donors by volunteering with LifeLink of Georgia’s Transplant Advocacy Group, speaking to civic clubs, schools, churches and other organizations about the importance of making a positive decision about donation.
There are more than 3,800 people in Georgia and more than 1,000 in South Carolina waiting for life-saving transplants. More donors are needed. Donation does not disfigure the body, doesn’t cost the donor’s family and doesn’t delay the funeral. There is no age limit for donation, and nearly all religions approve donation as an unselfish gift. Won’t you be a hero and sign up to be an organ, tissue and eye donor? It’s so easy to do – at the Department of Driver Services, mark “yes” on your license, or go online at www.donatelifegeorgia.org or www.donatelifesouthcarolina.org to sign up on the official registry. Also don’t forget, you can be a living donor by sharing a kidney with someone.
To arrange for a speaker or to learn more information, contact LifeLink of Georgia at (706) 854-0333.