(The following was published in the Newsleader on January 29, 2010)
Regular readers of this column may recall that a little over a year ago I reported to you that my son-in-law had suffered total kidney failure. As I write this piece I am in South Carolina visiting Erik and our daughter and grandchildren. He is doing very well considering his circumstance and has learned to deal with dialysis. In fact he is now able to do it at home by himself. Being a relatively young father with two little ones, the hope is that he can soon be a candidate for a kidney transplant. In fact he has an appointment next month for his first consultation for that transplant. We are keeping our fingers crossed.
My purpose in writing today is an unabashed pitch for organ donation. I just looked at my driver's license and confirmed that I am a donor. If you are not, I would like to challenge you to consider it.
Many years ago I remember attending a funeral and looking into the coffin at a dead person. I don't remember who it was, but they were lying peaceably as if they were asleep. Back then we didn't know they were wasting perfectly good organs that could have saved lives. That technology had not been perfected yet. Today it is a different story. Advancements have been and are regularly being made to improve the technology. I recently learned that there are tests being conducted that allow for the transplant of one's organs and at the same time their stem cells, which so far has allowed the recipients not to have to take anti-rejection drugs. The future of organ transplant is bright indeed.
There is one problem however. Every day thousands of otherwise healthy people die without making their wish to donate their organs known. Tens of thousands of otherwise healthy organs are buried with them. What a waste.
Ask yourself this question. When I die, what good are my organs to me? Where you will be in the after-life won't require them. Doesn't it just make good sense to allow for the donation of those organs and the subsequent life that could be saved? Can you imagine a more perfect gift? You no longer need them and at the same time some young father or mother might find new life. Some child, who might otherwise have no future, could be re-born with prospects of a long and healthy life. We all have heard and read stories of family members who were involved in the donation of a loved one's organs. The stories are uplifting and heart warming to say the least. Can you imagine the feeling a loved one might experience when, at the time of their great loss, their gift of life could make someone else whole? To me there is no greater gift. To me there is no greater love.
Would you consider this today? Look at your driver's license and see if you are a donor. If you aren't, go today and say yes. Yes, I'll give the gift of life. Yes, I'll be an organ donor. The lives that follow you will forever be grateful and the peace that will descend upon your loved ones will be overwhelming. Your own eternal rest will have a peace that could never be known in life. Please do it today.
Ron Scarbro January 20, 2010
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