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.