Some people have suggested I am obsessed with the Arizona 98 and question my reasoning for getting so heavily involved. Well, maybe I am obsessed but if so, it’s a good obsession. I speak for no organization other than Organ Transplant Initiative (OTI) but I sincerely believe that the “Save the Arizona 98” issue goes right to the heart of the reason for our existence. Our mission statement is quite clear, “To ensure that anyone who needs a transplant can get one.” With that mission how could I not make the Arizona 98 a top priority?
The reason for my intense effort is that It seems very clear that this issue is far broader than Arizona. Every state is suffering budget problems. Some, like Arizona, New Jersey, California, Texas and others are billions of dollars in debt and their constitutions require them to have balanced budgets. That means they have two choices, raise revenue (taxes) or cut expenses. Most have chosen to cut expenses but Arizona has done both, they recently added a 1% “temporary” sales tax. The threat of other states emulating what has happened to Arizona Medicaid is real. If they see that Arizona can get away with it, they will likely follow the example. We cannot let that happen.
There’s an old proverb called, “For want of a nail” that is analogous to the situation in Arizona and how the nation could be affected.
For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.
In my nearly 72 years I have accumulated many battle scars; civil rights, voting rights, equal rights, Vietnam, Iraq, health care and much more. This issue, though, is the one I’m hanging my hat on. I don’t know if we will succeed but if we don’t it will not be for lack of giving the effort every ounce of energy I can muster.
The primary responsibility of government is to protect its people, to honor, enhance and save their lives. That’s it –that’s what we elect our leaders to do…period.
I am not an economist, or accountant, or mathematician but I know this, you don’t balance your budget by letting your citizens die. Unfortunately there are some who believe that the path to their personal greatness can only be achieved by pouring cement over the bodies of people who can’t fight back; who have no money, no organization and no political clout. Look who is losing out in the budget cuts; children, the elderly, the jobless, the poor, the sick and the infirmed.
It is the vast middle class that pays the bill for most of our nation’s expenses and yet their hard work and good faith somehow results in building monstrous stadiums for billionaire sports team owners, reducing taxes for rich people, giving tax breaks to corporations who hire cheap labor in foreign countries that take American jobs and fighting unnecessary wars that cost trillions of dollars and kill our best resource — our young people.
The Save the Arizona 98 movement is what I consider to be the very beginning of developing a new set of priorities for America where we place the “General Welfare” (as stated in the constitution) first. My vision for the future is that this first step we’re taking will evolve to become a template for the way coming generations treat each other. I don’t want a Christian, Muslim, Jewish or any other kind of religious nation. I want a Golden Rule nation. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” If that was our mission statement the Arizona 98 situation would never have developed. Now….who has a nail?
If you would like to help the Arizona patients pay for their transplants, should organs become available, you can do so in several ways. We have established a website www.savethearizona98.com where you can purchase Save the Arizona 98 T-shirts and other products with all profits being contributed to the National Transplant Assistance Fund (NTAF ). Furthermore no expenses or administrative fees are charged for our services.
On the same website you will find a link to donate directly to the NTAF where you can designate the person(s) you want to help. Or you can call NTAF directly at 1-800-642-8399. If you choose to bypass our website completely you can donate to NTAF on line at www.ntafund.org/contribute/
Please comment in the space provided or email your thoughts to me at email@example.com . And – please spread the word about the immediate need for more organ donors. There is nothing you can do that is of greater importance. If you convince one person to be a donor you may save or positively affect over 60 lives. Some of those lives may be people you know and love.
Also…visit and join my Facebook site, ORGAN Transplant Initiative http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=152655364765710 OR — my Facebook home Page http://www.facebook.com/?sk=messages&tid=10150094667020070#!/ .
The more members we get the greater our impact on increasing life saving organ donation