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Think about giving someone a second chance at life

 


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.

While 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 donor.

I never met two more grateful people in my life.

The 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.”

 

Everyday, 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.

The 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).

Between 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.)

States 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: newsdesk@umcom.org · 

 

 

 

 

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