Organ Donation

Organ Donation

March is National Eye Donor Month!

Do you check “yes” to organ donation when renewing your license? Why or why not?

One day, when my kid sister was 16 and about to get her driver’s license, she was getting ready for school sitting in the bathroom sink, as we both always did. My mom asked her why she was deciding to be an organ donor. “We don’t need that stuff when we’re gone, Ma.” She told her. My mom never thought anything of it. Mom also had never checked “yes”. She never gave it any thought. Figured maybe she’d “do it next time”.

5 years later, little did we know how that conversation would change the way we thought about this subject in so many ways.

My sister, Carly went to sleep and simply never woke up back on April 14, 2009. They say it was “natural causes”. She was a imply healthy, 21 year old lady. I’m not getting into that story today however, I’ll save it for a better time, but Carly stood by that decision strongly while on this Earth.

After her death, she helped so, so many others with all her tissue, and what was most known about her [besides her amazing & funny personality] her corneas, her eyes. You see, Carly had 2 different colored eyes. One blue, one brown with a spec of blue. It’s called Heterochromia [having two different colored eyes]. Carly helped a little 9 year old girl to be able to see for the first time in her entire life. Can you imagine? Because I cannot. Even to this day. What a difference in that little girls life who would now be 15 or 16 today.

Since Carly’s death, my family has been super active in the Pittsburgh, PA based organization, CORE, that helped with the donating. My mom has spoken all over the county, written articles, and my entire family is even on their pamphlets. As it’s been very difficult for her speaking about being on the donors side, rather than a recipient, but it has given us a lot of strength knowing Carly would have never wanted it any other way. Even though it is hard, we are very proud.

imageSo this is what I ask. Do you check yes to being an organ donor? Why or why not? The last time I went home we were special guests at an Erie Seawolves baseball game. We all said who we were and why we were there etc. One of our members waiting on a heart transplant even threw the first pitch. This event was the first time I really got to see people’s real opinions on this subject for myself. And the most excuses I heard were… If they get into an accident or whatever shall happen to them that if the hospital sees they are a donor they won’t try to save them, Religion. Can’t have an open casket for funeral. The fact is that all of these “reasons” and excuses are untrue.

When you check “yes” on your driver’s license, you save, on average, 8 people’s lives.

Just like Carly said 11 years ago, What do you need it for when you’re gone? Think of the lives that could be saved.

Just a thought. Take a minute. Educate yourself and your children. You never know the impact you could make or the lives you could save.

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