Despite the fact that the hubby indicated theTissue Repository in Chicagowould respond with “We’re Good!” when I called to offer them by brain tissue, the Italian Stallion was wrong. They do want my brain – well, at least my brain tissue. Here’s what I’ve learned about brain tissue donation.
When they say there’s a short turnaround time needed from the time of death to arrival at the depository, they aren’t kidding. A doctor only has 12 hours – that’s all – to get my brain tissue from wherever I am when I die to Chicago. I’d imagine it would take a little while to crack my hard head open and remove the tissue and then there will only be a few hours left for transportation and delivery. This is why it is critical that M.S. patients educate their loved ones about their wishes. There really is no time to waste.
The Chicago Repository at the University of Illinois is brand new. In fact, they are still getting things set up as we “speak.” I could have selected either the more established Colorado or California repositories instead; however, I’m guessing the odds are in my favor that I’ll likely die here in Pennsylvania. Chicago is much closer considering they’ll only have 12 hours to airlift that tissue out of my skull, into a helicopter (I’m certain they aren’t going to allow my sister-in-law to drive it to Chicago despite her generous offer), and to the nearest repository.
Until the repository is fully staffed, they’re merely sending me a form to complete. The rest of the registration process will come later. The poor woman on the phone sounded like a volunteer who drew the short straw, being selected to answer call after call of interest since the article published in the M.S. Society’s magazine. She sounded frazzled, explained that she’s overwhelmed with the interest they’ve received, and kept saying over-and-over, “well that won’t be for awhile” when referencing what will happen when I die. She realized how she was phrasing it at one point and followed with, “Oh my goodness, I mean that won’t happen for hopefully a very long while.” I know they’re eager for donations, but let’s not rush it folks.