CNN | Tim Brennan
Tim Brennan, a sophomore at Regis High School in New York City, is an organ donation advocate. He is a frequent contributor to The Falcon, a sports newspaper at Regis, and co-hosts a sports podcast. He is also active in public forum debate in Manhattan and plays junior varsity basketball. The opinions expressed in this commentary are his own.
(CNN) — As a 16-year-old in New York state, there are a lot of things I cannot do. I can't join the Army, I can't get a driver's license, I can't vote, and I can't drink. But there's one thing I can do. I can register to become an organ donor, something that before February 14, 2017, no 16-year-old in New York could do. Last year, New York joined 47 other states in the nation that allow 16-year-olds to register as organ donors. Due to the recent legislation from Albany, high schoolers can now help a cause greater than themselves: the organ donation crisis.
You never know when the problem will affect you or a loved one. When my aunt was only 15, she found out she needed a kidney transplant. That was her first of four that she has needed in her lifetime, but thankfully she received her first three from family members and the fourth from a close friend. Both my grandparents and cousin are living kidney donors for my Aunt Betsy. As you can see, organ donation has always been an important cause for my family. Continue reading