John Wood who recently passed away waiting for a lifesaving transplant. Photo by: Dave Bakke, The State Journal-Register
It’s not very often that I use the Gift of Hope Blog as a platform to discuss how I, personally, feel about an issue surrounding organ and tissue donation. But, this needs to be one of those rare circumstances. Earlier this week, I stumbled upon the story of John Wood and his wait for a lifesaving heart transplant . Unfortunately, John was unable to wait any longer and passed away leaving friends and family behind.
The saddest part of John’s story is that he passed away needlessly. And, worst of all, this is a story that plays out each and every day. I have little doubt that, in 30 years, scientists will be able to construct kidneys, livers, and hearts in a lab and I’ll be out of a job because it won’t be necessary for Americans to register as donors (and it will be a good day for me). In 30 years, stories like John’s will cease to exist.
But, this is not a reason to put off registering as an organ and tissue donor. Today there are thousands of “Johns” in America who die each day (on average, 18 people). The solution to saving the “Johns of Today” is clear. More Americans need to register as lifesaving organ and tissue donors.
More than 100 million Americans believe that the “Johns of Today” should live. They’ve made this sentiment known by registering as organ and tissue donors. This is an overwhelming amount of Americans who support donation, but this leaves hundreds of millions more who have yet to say “Yes” to helping John and the 17 others who will be unable to make it through the day.
So, today, I encourage you to quit wasting time. Do a favor to those who are desperately waiting for a transplant by learning more about organ donation. Get over whatever is holding you back from registering. Then, take 30 seconds to register as an organ and tissue donor. If you’re from Illinois, register at www.GiftofHope.org . If you’re from somewhere else, go to www.DonateLifeAmerica.org .
Please, register today. People, like John, are counting on you.
- Josh Muller, PR/Marketing Coordinator – Gift of Hope