NATIONAL DONATE LIFE MONTH-ORGAN AND TISSUE DONATION HITS YOUTUBE!
Source: Washington Regional Transplant Community (WRTC)
ANNANDALE, VA (March 29, 2010)—Bill Peters, a retired marine from Woodbridge, lost his teenage son Scott when he was shot and killed in 1997. Despite Scott’s tragic death, Bill finds comfort every day knowing that Scott saved two people and gave two others the gift of sight through the donation of his kidneys and corneas as an organ and tissue donor. Hearing this story come directly from Bill, you know Scott’s donation is important to him.
“As a marine, you’re taught to protect your fellow marines,” explains Bill. “It’s ingrained. To literally save someone’s life—it doesn’t even compute in my mind not to do that. Why wouldn’t you do that if you had the capability?”
Bill typically explains his experience at schools, hospitals and at DMV offices. But now Bill will reach a much wider audience: YouTube. His compelling story is one of 30 that will be featured in a project titled “30 Days, 30 Stories,” which allows families of organ and tissue donors and transplant recipients themselves to tell their stories online. Every day in April (National Donate Life Month) a new video featuring individuals who have been affected by organ and tissue donation will be uploaded to Washington Regional Transplant Community (WRTC)’s YouTube page.
“The purpose of this campaign is to allow people to see the human side of donation,” said John Ogden, Senior Public Affairs Associate for WRTC. “Organ and tissue donation is often thought of as something abstract—something we might think about only once at the DMV when we get our license and check the box. These people live and breathe donation every single day. Hopefully, by allowing these families to tell their stories to a wider audience, people will get the message that not only does donation work, but that it saves lives.”
As of 2009, only 29 percent of DC residents, 36 percent of Maryland residents and 43 percent of Virginia residents were registered as organ and tissue donors. Nationally, that average is 27.5 percent. This campaign seeks to increase that percentage by showing people that donation works.“30 Days, 30 Stories” is one of many projects in the DC area that highlight April as National Donate Life Month. During April, the lives of those who have died and given the gift of life as organ and tissue donors are commemorated, as well as those who are alive today thanks to the courage and generosity of donors and their families.