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Why Not Organ Donation Awareness??

Posted Oct 08 2008 5:24am
When I turn on the TV, I see plenty of commercials. I'm happy to see commercials about Lupus. Lupus is such an unknown disease, and anything that can be done to bring lupus awareness to the fore front is obviously a-ok by me.

Maybe I just have a bad memory, but I don't recall seeing any commercials about Organ Donation awareness. And if I have, and I can't remember, then that's a bad sign. Me, of all people, should remember seeing a commercial like that.

Yes, I have Lupus. I've had it since 1996 and, I must say, I'm definitely NOT Lupus' biggest fan. In fact, I'm not very fond of Lupus. Annoying, unpredictable, irritating, exhausting, and, I must say, a bit of a Debbie Downer.

But, let's not forget, Lupus affects many different things, and Lupus never seems to manifest exactly the same in anyone. You'd definitely be hard pressed to find 2 Lupus patients who are on the exact same medication regime. In fact, I'm almost positive that if I had another doctor in another part of of the province, country, or even the world, my medication regime would be different in all of these different situations.

My point, you ask? For me, Lupus affects my kidneys. My kidneys are broken. I need life saving dialysis just to continue on. Up until earlier this year, I was dialyzing in the hospital, 3 times a week, 4 hours each time. To be honest, back then, I didn't have a 7 day week. At best, I had 4 day weeks. My dialysis days were complete write offs. I'd go to dialysis in the morning at 7:30am. I'd sit there for 4 hours and be so ill with nausea and stomach cramps after an hour or so that I'd need to be drugged with gravol. After that, I'd slither myself into my Dad's car, to be driven home, eat because I was now starving after having the life sucked out of me during dialysis, then I'd head directly into bed. And I certainly wasn't the only one. There were at least 20 stations in my dialysis unit, and probably 20 stations in the other dialysis unit on the other side of the hospital. And that's my hospital alone.

The majority of us have one thing in common: we want a kidney. We want to be released from the shakles, the anchor that is dialysis. I'm not dialyzing in the hospital anymore. I'm at home, and my life and body have shown me in the way it acts and responds that home dialysis is so much better for me. I get to dialyze slowly over an 8 hour period which is much better for my body. I get to do it while I'm sleeping so that it doesn't consume my entire day. I have 7 days in my week now, and for that I'm thankful. But I have to say, as much as my life has improved with home dialysis, it still has it's downsides. Going on vacation? Don't get me started. Going on vacation, depending on where I'm going, costs a fortune. I have to pay for my dialysis and I only get $210 per dialysis returned to me by the government. This is certainly helpful, no doubt about that. But you must also consider the fact that when I go to England and pay 250 pounds a session, which is pretty much $500 canadian a session, I'm still out of pocket $890 for a 1 week trip.

But, I've been waiting for a kidney. I've been waiting since 2004. When is it going to be my turn? Do people even really understand what it is to sign their donor cards? Does signing one's donor card even cross people's minds?

Why aren't there commercials on TV discussing organ transplant and organ donation awareness? And, if I'm wrong and there ARE commercials on TV discussing organ transplant and donation awareness, then why have I not seen one in recent months?

Everyone has a different opinion on what I'm about to say, but many other countries around the world have an opt-out system when it comes to deceased donors. You are assumed to be willing to donate your organs if you should pass away. Here, we have an opt-in system. Who really thinks about such a thing? Some people feel that it should be their decision, but...let me be blunt here! When you're gone...you're gone! It makes no sense to me why someone would be dead set AGAINST wanting to improve the quality of someone else's life after they should pass away. It often goes even further than improving the quality of life...it SAVES lives! Why wouldn't you want your last gift to this world to be one where you are actually saving a life? Perhaps you're saved or improved SEVERAL lives!

I wish people knew more about organ transplants and organ donation awareness.

I wish more people signed their donor cards.


I wish I had a kidney.
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