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A LOVE So Strong It Saves Lives…

Yesterday, as most of you know, was Valentine’s Day.

A day to celebrate LOVE. At the Chris Klug Foundation, we were not only celebrating Valentine’s Day but we were also celebrating National Donor Day. We were out at the Aspen Recreation Center and the Carbondale Recreation Center talking with people all day about organ donation.

We spoke with over 300 people from middle schoolers to seniors. People were very eager to pull out their license and show us their organ donation designation on their license. We rewarded them with some love back by giving them a chocolate heart.

We were able to inspire, educate and register people as organ donors throughout the day. It was extremely impactful to educate people about some myths that they had about organ donation. We were able to assure them that the medical staff at hospitals will do everything in their power to save a person’s life if they are admitted to the hospital and that doctors are not “organ hungry” as many people across the nation believe. This is a very common limiting belief that will deter many people from saying “yes” to organ donation. It is always such a powerful feeling to see a sense of ease and understanding when we discuss this fear that many people have surrounding organ donation.

There are currently over 115,000 people across the United States waiting for a life-saving transplant. That is more people than could fit in the largest football stadium in the United States which is in Ann Arbor Michigan and holds at capacity 107,601 people. Every 10 minutes another person is added to the transplant waitlist. Some people will wait a few months and some people like a gentleman we met while doing a Patient Ambassador Visit at Mount Sinai in New York City waited for 22 years on dialysis until receiving the gift of life that forever changed his life. Everyday 22 die because of lack of available organs for donation.

Not only were we out at the local recreation centers but we had students across the nation take the matter in their own hands and by hosting their own Donor Dude Event for National Donor Day. They were able to help educate their peers by having an informational table at their school, or going into classrooms and educating people about organ donation. It has been amazing to see the passion these young kids have to help save lives of people in their family and their communities.

Organ donation affects people in so many positive ways. We wanted to share with you all some of the thoughts by organ donation recipients, donors, and family members. Organ donation not only affects the person who is waiting for a transplant but it affects every single person who is close to them friends, family and community members.

National Donor Day: Valen Keefer – Kidney Transplant Recipient

National Donor Day: Jerry Brien – Kidney Donor to brother Jim Brien

National Donor Day: Noah Keefer – Family Recipient

National Donor Day: Steve Ast – Heart Transplant Recipient

National Donor Day: Brian Hinsley – Liver Transplant Recipient

We ask that everyone opens up and has the conversation with their family and friends. It is very important to have this difficult conversation so people know your wishes. We ask you to consider becoming a registered organ donor to help save the lives of the over 115,000 people patiently waiting to be given that second chance at life.

Register today, give the gift of life and provide someone with the quality of life that we all deserve.