To All Procrastinating Pack Rats

Some people are pack rats.  One of the reasons they behave as they do is because they cannot make a decision.  Their three-car garage is packed with worthless junk while two, once shiny cars, sit in the driveway, exposed to all the elements.  What a philosophy, “Let’s keep what is useless to us and ignore the real needs.” These procrastinators keep every old jar, nail, lampshade and license plate they have ever owned.  I know some men who hang on to their 1970’s neckties because, “You never know when that style will come back.”  Probably not in your lifetime, friend.


I guess if I stretch my imagination, I can almost understand that mentality.  What I cannot understand are people who apply their Procrastinating Pack Rat way of living to organ donation.  What possible good can your organs do you when you are dead?  I defy anyone to give me one sound reason why it is better to let your organs rot — instead of donating them to someone who needs them.  People who do not take the time to be organ donors are selfish, shortsighted and foolish. 


 Now, there is a big difference between those who do not get around to registering as an organ donor and those who are unfamiliar with the issue.  The latter is our fault for not communicating more effectively.  The former is shameful.


While I was one of the few to get the “gift of life” in 2007, 7000 other good people were not.  They died waiting.  Since 1995, around 100,000 people have died waiting.  One-third of consenting donors never realize their wish to donate because family members refuse permission — in many cases, they were unaware of their loved one’s preference.  So, let me administer the 50,000-volt shock (I hope)!


· As of today there are 98,806 people waiting for an organ transplant in the U.S.

· As of today a total of 2,197 transplants had been performed this year.  That means over 96,000 people are left waiting.  It means, if the data are correct, that a total of nearly 8,000 will die before the years end.


Do those figures bother you?  Do you get some sense of urgency when you see them?  Being an organ donor should be a responsibility not an option.  Every major religion approves of donation and they all teach that we are to love our neighbors as we love ourselves.  Why, then, are less then a third of all Americans registered organ donors?  What good are organs that are left to decompose in a grave?  Each non-donor gravesite represents a loss, maybe of life, for up to sixty (60) human beings – some are children.  


Please, during this national Donate Life month and on behalf of all those on the transplant list, please — become an organ donor.  You might save the life of someone important to you.  Maybe you will save the life of someone important to me.  To be truthful there is no guarantee that even if you are a donor that you will save a life.  There is an absolute guarantee, though, that if you are not a donor you will not save a life.




About Bob Aronson

Bob Aronson is a former journalist, a Minnesota Governor's Press Secretary and talk show host. For nearly a quarter of a century, he led the Aronson Partnership, a Minnesota-based communications consultancy that prepared corporate and government executives for crisis situations, regulatory testimony, media interviews and Presentations. Among his clients were all three U.S. Mayo Clinic locations, 3M, general Mills, CH2M Hill, the U.S. Department of Energy and scores more. In 2007 bob had a heart transplant after suffering from idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy for 12 years. Shortly after he got his new heart he founded the now 4,300 member Facebook support group, Organ Transplant Initiative. At the same time, he established the Bob's Newheart blog where he has posted nearly 300 columns on organ donation, transplantation and other health related issues. The Viewpoint blog was started in late 2016 and bears the name of the Radio Talk show Bob did from 1966 until 1974, when he resigned to become Minnesota Governor Rudy Perpich first Press secretary. Bob and his artist wife Robin, live in Jacksonville, Florida with their two dogs, Reilly and Ziggy. Bob is also a woodworker and makes all of the furnishings for Robin's art festival booth. He also makes one of a kind jewelry or "memories" boxes that he donates to select transplant patients, caregivers, donor families and others who have somehow contributed to making life easier for the ill, the elderly and the less fortunate. Bob is in the final stages of editing two full-length novels that will be available on Kindle when ready for release sometime in early 2017. One is a sci fi novel about an amazing discovery near Roswell, New Mexico and you will be surprised to find it has nothing to do with the Roswell story everyone knows. It features a woman scientist who investigates impact craters for the U.S. Department of the Interior, Dr. Rita Sylvester and her female student intern. The other book is a political thriller that introduces a new hero to the genre, Fargo Dennison.

Posted on April 16, 2008, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Pity you don’t show the same compassion, understanding and generosity your donor did. How about being grateful and expressing that, instead of the vilification of those you don’t know and choose not to understand. I too am in favor of organ donation and am in awe and wonder of the generosity of human kind and medical science which makes it possible. Yet you seem to focus on the negative (like all too many) and then sound arrogant, self-righteous and lacking in the fundamental human acceptance which creates the psychosocial environment where organ ‘donation’ is possible. I realise you are an organ recipient, be grateful (and by all means, an adocate for OD) but not angry and vitriolic.


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