Do you remember your first conscious thought of when you decided to register to be an organ, eye, and tissue donor? Did you have a conversation about your decision? Have you ever had a conversation about donation?
Currently, by law, all teens in our area will be asked to register when they get their driver’s license. The goal of the Donate Life Today High School Education program is to predispose 14-15 year olds to donation through conversation and allow them to make an informed decision when they are asked. All presentations cover information about donation – what organ and tissues can be donated, transplant factors, how/where to register, truths vs. myths, the importance of family discussion and most importantly, a testimonial from someone who has been impacted by donation and transplantation (i.e. recipients, donor family members and living kidney donors).
The WA DOL reports 43.45% of 14-17 year olds are donor designated as of December 2009 – compared to 32% in 2006 when our program just became active. This increase reflects the important conversations we are having with teens.
By educating high school students, we are investing in the future of donation and the future of saving lives.
“I appreciate your presentation. My mom knew I had thought about being an organ donor, but I never made it official. Last night, I talked to my mom again. I made it very clear that I wanted to be an organ donor. She 100% supports my decision. In fact, she told me that she is an organ donor as well. If it wasn’t for your speech yesterday, the topic wouldn’t have come up and my mom wouldn’t be sure of what I wanted. Thank you so much.” – High School Student
Our conversations in the schools have a ripple effect from student to friend to teacher to parent to grandparent – this is the Power of One Conversation.