Today across the U.S., more than 117,000 people are waiting for that gift of life from an organ donor. Trauma, bone damage, spinal injuries, burns, hearing impairment and vision loss are all reasons why someone may need an organ, tissue or blood donation at some point in their lives. It could happen to any one of us.
Every 10 minutes someone is added to the organ donor waiting list, and every year thousands of people die waiting for a donor organ that never comes. Thankfully last year, organ donors made more than 28,000 transplants possible. But we need to do better.
On this Valentine’s Day as we think more about cherishing the ones we love, this may be just the right time to extend that kindness to all of our fellow citizens with the gift of life in the future. Each one of us has that power.
On Christmas Eve 2011, high school senior Porter Lyons couldn’t breathe or slow his racing heart — which was twice as large as it should be. Over the course of a week, his life would change because of a diagnosis of cardiomyopathy, the same diagnosis his father faced 25 years earlier. He and his family would go through the ups, downs and difficult decisions that come with a heart transplant.