Friday, April 16, 2010

Save a life by donating your organs
It is difficult to imagine a more touching scene.

Ramone Castle, 27, of New Orleans appeared with Cynthia Reed of Larose at Terrebonne General Medical Center in Houma in honor of the Donate Life Louisiana Hospital Campaign.

The two, who were strangers a few months ago, are now forever linked. Castle has regained much of his life because of a liver he received from Reed’s son. When Justin Doucet fatally wounded himself in May at Larose-Cut Off Middle, his parents donated his organs, which went on to save the lives of five people.

It is at once a tragic and uplifting tale. Doucet tragically ended his own life but his parents allowed many to benefit from his organs after his life had ended.

“It helped me to see things a lot clearer,” Castle said. “Money, success — once I was put on bed rest for six months, I realized those things didn’t matter as much as I’d once thought. Getting your health back, along with freedom and independence, are what really matters.”

We should all be as generous as Doucet’s parents, and we can be.

April is National Donate Life Month, and the Louisiana Organ Procurement Agency is using the month to spotlight its effort to sign up new organ donors.

That might seem like a large number, but it is really about awareness more than sacrifice. As such, we can each do part of the job in spreading the word and getting more people to agree to donate their organs at death.

Besides, there are more-daunting numbers.

In the U.S., there are 100,000 waiting for organ transplants that they need to live. Just in Louisiana, there are 1,800 of them. And, most tragically, an average of 18 people die each day while on the waiting list for transplants.

Each of those numbers is far too high.

Organ donation can be a last, great gesture of giving, a way to make even our last breaths productive to those around us.

However, it is a difficult discussion that asks us to contemplate unpleasant matters — a fact that explains why so few of us have agreed to donate.

There really is nothing to lose by signing up to give, and you could be responsible for numerous lives saved.

If you are interested in agreeing to become a donor, go to to register for the program or just to get more information.

You will almost certainly be glad you did it, and you could one day be responsible for a person or multiple people enjoying much more of their lives.

“You Have the Power to Save Lives – Register to be an organ and tissue donor & Tell Your Loved Ones of Your Decision”
Register to be a donor in Ontario or Download Donor Cards from Trillium Gift of Life Network. NEW for Ontario: - Learn The Ins & Outs Of Organ And Tissue Donation. Register Today! For other Canadian provinces click here
In the United States, be sure to find out how to register in your state at or Download Donor Cards from OrganDonor.Gov
In Great Britain, register at NHS Organ Donor Register
In Australia, register at Australian Organ Donor Register
Your generosity can save up to eight lives with heart, kidneys, liver, lungs, pancreas and small intestine transplants (see allotransplantation). One tissue donor can help up to 100 other people by donating skin, corneas, bone, tendon, ligaments and heart valves
Has your life been saved by an organ transplant? "Pay it forward" and help spread the word about the need for organ donation - In the U.S. another person is added to the national transplant waiting list every 11 minutes and 18 people die each day waiting for an organ or tissue transplant.

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