Think about giving someone a second chance at life
June 10, 2004
A UMNS Report
By Kathy L. Gilbert*
NASHVILLE, Tenn.-- Last February, a 27-year-old woman was out jogging when a hit-and-run driver struck and killed her.
in the hospital waiting to get all the tests run before my kidney donor
surgery, I met two men whose lives were saved because she was an organ
I never met two more grateful people in my life.
United Methodist Church supports organ transplantation and organ
donation in its Social Principles as “acts of charity, agape love, and
self-sacrifice.” The church goes on to “encourage all people of faith to
become organ and tissue donors as a part of their love and ministry to
others in need.”
about 16 people die because they need a kidney, heart, liver or lung
transplant. More than 85,000 people are on the waiting list for donors,
more than 58,000 of those need kidney transplants.
National Kidney Foundation sponsors Kidney Walks across the U.S. to
help people understand the need for early detection of kidney disease
and to raise funds for research. More than 20 million people have
chronic kidney disease and another 20 million are at risk of developing
problems. Visit the Kidney Walk site to find out where a walk is being
sponsored near you (http://www.kidney.org/funds/kidneywalk/schedule.cfm).
January and February, 4,288 transplants were performed. I am one of the
1,073 living donors counted in that time frame. (Go to the United
Network for Organ Sharing to view the latest transplantation data www.unos.org.)
have different laws about how to register to donate your organs after
death. The Coalition on Donation, a non-profit organization, has
information on their Web site about what the laws are in each state. Go
to www.donatelife.net to find out what the rules are for where you live.
Think about signing an organ-donor card, if you do sign one; make sure your family knows about your wishes.
I am strong in body, heart and soul. As a living kidney donor I can truly say it was one of the best decisions of my life.
*Gilbert is a United Methodist News Service news writer.
News media contact: Kathy L. Gilbert·(615)742-5470·Nashville, Tenn.· E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org ·