From the Rapid City Journal in South Dakota:
There are more than 98,000 Americans waiting on organ transplant lists, and during April, which is National Donate Life Month, 700 of them will die because there aren’t enough transplantable organs for everyone who needs them.
This same month, Americans will bury or cremate 1,200 organs that could have saved those people’s lives.
An organization named LifeSharers is doing something about that waste of life with an innovative approach to organ transplantation. It not only tries to stop the terrible waste of usable organs but also helps make the transplant system fairer.
LifeSharers is based on the philosophy that if you want to be an organ recipient when you need one, you ought to be willing to be an organ donor upon your death.
That might seem self-evident to all those people who mark “donor” on their driver’s license, but, oddly enough, more than 50 percent of the organs that are transplanted in America go to people who have not agreed to be organ donors themselves when they die.
LifeSharers creates a pool of organs available first to its registered organ donors and it offers an excellent trade in the process. If you agree to donate your organs after you’re dead, it will help increase your chances of getting a transplant if you ever need one to live.
As of March 31, LifeSharers had 11,096 members, an increase of 35 percent over last year at this time. Currently, 68 LifeSharer members are on the United Network for Organ Sharing’s transplant waiting list. Of these, 65 LifeSharers members have qualified for preferred access to the organs of fellow members.
LifeSharers is a national non-profit organization. Membership is free. Everyone is welcome to join, regardless of age or pre-existing medical conditions.
Even if you’re already an organ donor, consider becoming registered with LifeSharers, because the larger its registry base, the bigger incentive it will be for others to join.
To learn more, visit its Web site at LifeSharers. It just might save your life some day.