Craig and Morgan from True Life: I Need a Transplant were both lucky to have family members who were suitable organ donors, but not everyone is so fortunate: Currently 106,000-plus Americans are on a transplant waiting list. Every month, another 300 join their ranks, and about 6,000 die every year while waiting. Each one of us can help by registering to make a posthumous anatomical gift.
Did you know that up to 50 people’s lives could be saved or improved with one person's organ and tissue donation? Or that anatomical gifting is supported by most religions (including Islam, Protestantism, Catholics and most branches of Judaism)? Or that there's no age limit for donors (although minors do need parental consent)? In most states, registering as a donor is as easy as signing the back of your driver's license, but you can get on the donor rolls in other ways as well. So check them out by visiting Donate Life and clicking on your state!
You can also save lives while you’re still walking the earth! As evidenced in this episode of True Life, some lifesaving materials can be harvested from living donors. One miracle of life is that we're born with two kidneys, but we only need one. If you want to share your spare, you can sign up with the National Kidney Foundation. And if you live near Kansas City, check out the group that Morgan and her family work with, Gift of Life.
Harvesting bone marrow is less intensive than kidney surgery, but just as lifesaving. In conjunction with MTV, the Be The Match marrow registry is waiving the usual $60 lab testing fee for anyone who uses the promo code TRUELIFE2010. Just log on, punch in the code and they'll send a FREE testing kit directly to your door. All you have to do is swab your cheek and send the sample back in the prepaid envelope!
One important note: About one-third of the time, potential post-mortem donors never get the chance to give the gift of life because their family members won’t give consent. This is why it’s so vital to make sure that you share your wishes with your family, both verbally and by keeping a notification form with all of your important papers.
Last year, more than 28,000 people received transplants because of the kindness of donors. Wouldn't you like to know that your body won't go to waste if something unexpected happens? Register now and maybe someday you can be a lifesaver. Remember: You can't take it with you!
—Your humble True Life After Show producer, Bruce "proBRUCEr" McDonald
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