Thursday, January 13, 2011
“Family Guy” Shares Need for Organ Donors
When my husband sent me a text to tell me that “Family Guy” was about organ donation this past Sunday, I groaned. Knowing the show can push limits, I expected it to portray the exact myths we work to dispel every day when we encourage individuals to register as organ, eye and tissue donors. To my surprise: it was heartfelt, with a side of humor.
In the episode, Peter (the father) needs a kidney transplant. The doctor tells Peter and his family that he could have to wait months for a kidney and while he waits he has to be on dialysis three times a week.
Just like the 87,000 Americans waiting for a kidney transplant and undergoing dialysis treatments, Peter’s life changes. He spends his time connected to a dialysis machine to stay alive, not able to skip even one session (though he tries). Peter and his family worry about not being able to get to a dialysis center or receive a transplant before something bad happens.
Finally, Brian, the family dog, offers to give his kidneys to Peter – that’s right, both of them, which would kill Brian.
While it’s not possible to transplant a dog’s kidneys to a human and doctors would NEVER remove two kidneys from a living donor, or allow someone to willingly die to donate organs – the sentiment was there. Brian was willing to give the “Gift of Life” to Peter, selflessly.
In the end, the doctor tests himself and finds he is a match for Peter, saving everyone, and leaving me with a smile on my face. Unfortunately, that’s not exactly real life either. Each day, 18 Americans die waiting for a transplant that doesn’t come in time.
So take a moment to join the Ohio Donor Registry and make your wishes to be an organ and tissue donor upon your death known. And a big thank you to Family Guy for showing the great need for donors!
- Sara Brown, community education coordinator