Fort Gordon Signal
Have you met an organ transplant recipient? Is a friend or family member awaiting a transplant? Have you heard about a family who supported their loved one’s decision to donate organs and tissue? This April, during the federally sanctioned National Donate Life Month, LifeLink of Georgia and Dwight D. Eisenhower Army Medical Center honor the spirit of those individuals who make transplants possible—organ, tissue and eye donors. The lives of individuals who received their second chance is celebrated - and finally, attention is called to the more than 110,000 - over 3,100 of whom are local - men, women and children who still wait across the United States.
Yul Brown knows all too well about the intense wait for a transplant. A natural leader, Yul continued to serve as a city councilman for McDonough, Ga., while undergoing dialysis to combat the effects of focal segmental glomerulosclerosis.
“I was tired all the time, but I felt like, ‘bring it on.’ I made it mind over matter.” He took his can-do attitude throughout his community, becoming a volunteer wrestling coach while waiting for his transplant.
“It was another way for me to give back,” Yul says. And after 11 years of dialysis treatments, his ability to continue giving back came from someone else committed to others: an organ donor. “It has been a life-changing experience...the future is bright. I’m still here and hopefully I’m still making a difference. And I am very grateful.”
Another family touched by organ donation is the Wildes family, although their story is very different from that of Yul Brown. Behind the mountain of teddy bears and Amanda Wildes’ ready smile lies “Madeline’s Mission,” a program which delivers teddy bears to children’s hospitals in Georgia. Amanda and Landon founded the project after losing their seven-month-old daughter, Madeline Anne, to bacterial meningitis.
“It’s our hope that through Madeline’s Mission, individuals will realize the importance of organ donation,” says Amanda. By allowing Madeline to become an organ donor, the Wildes helped save the lives of three people. Madeline’s Mission is further testament to the family’s generosity. The bears are given to children waiting for life-saving transplants and other medical procedures.
Organ donation, with the primary exception of living kidney donation, takes place after death and provides the gift of life to tens of thousands each year through heart, kidney, lung, liver, pancreas or intestine transplants. Without the generosity of organ donors, those waiting will die.
“This month we challenge everyone to focus on the lives saved by transplantation and the continued need which grows every day in our communities,” says Kathleen Lilly, Executive Director of LifeLink of Georgia. “Please make a commitment to learn more about donation. One organ & tissue donor can help as many as 60 people. Your commitment today can make all the difference for those in desperate need.”
LifeLink of Georgia is scheduled to host a donor designation station at Dwight D. Eisenhower Army Medical Center April 13 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the third floor outside of Ike’s Cafe. Stop by and learn more about donation and Georgia’s organ and tissue donor registry.
Another way to become a donor is to sign up on Georgia’s donor registry when you renew your driver license or identification card. Be sure to tell your family about your decision.
Visit www.lifelinkfound.org or call 1-800-544-6667 with questions about organ and tissue donation.
“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 at Trillium Gift of Life Network NEW for Ontario: recycleMe.org - Learn The Ins & Outs Of Organ And Tissue Donation. Register Today!
For other Canadian provinces click here
For other Canadian provinces click here
In the United States, be sure to find out how to register in your state at ShareYourLife.org 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 or enhance the lives of up to fifty people with heart, kidneys, liver, lungs, pancreas and small intestine transplants (see allotransplantation). One tissue donor can help 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. Organs can save lives, corneas renew vision, and tissue may help to restore someone's ability to walk, run or move freely without pain. Life Begins with You