Minnesotan’s Creative Efforts to Increase Organ Donation
LifeSource is an Organ Procurement Organization (OPO) in St. Paul, Minnesota. I know the people there quite well and was so impressed by their latest posting in “The Source” I decided to reprint it so others could benefit from it as well. I am often asked, “What can I do to promote organ donation besides becoming a donor myself?” Well, there are many answers but this blog offers a couple of excellent examples.
by Jeff Richert
We have many exceptional, creative and energetic volunteers. I want to focus on just two of them and what they are doing to celebrate National Donate Life Month in April.
Judy is a long time LifeSource volunteer from Fergus Falls, MN. She lost her daughter, Jenny, in May of 1993. Judy’s activities for April included a radio interview about donation and drunk driving that she has done for many years. She also coordinates a unique program with her beautician.
In addition to providing space for a display and information table, her friend who owns the “ExSalonce” has a special promotion during April. She gives a 20% discount to customers who either show that they have “Donor” on their license or to those who sign up as donors for the first time! What a unique and fun way to communicate our message during April!
Suzanne Ruff is a LifeSource volunteer who knows too well the ravages of Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD). For several generations, her family has suffered from this often fatal genetic disorder. For National Donate Life Month and for National Donor Sabbath for at least two years, Suzanne has communicated with the Archbishop of St Paul and Minneapolis to convey information to him about donation and transplantation.
Earlier this month, Suzanne received a response from the Archbishop’s office saying that he is both supportive of our cause and that he will try, ” … to the best of my ability, to mention it in my Catholic Spirit column.” Thank you Suzanne for your perseverance and for helping us to communicate to our friends in high places.
Judy and Suzanne’s activities for April are not big and flashy acts. They don’t involve billboards or spot lights. But ultimately their work will contribute to the many activities of our volunteers that help ensure that thousands of people hear about the life saving miracles of donation and transplantation!
I hope reprinting this blog inspires people to do something special to promote organ donation. If each of us could convince just one person to become an organ donor we could end the shortage and be able to offer transplants to everyone on the list.
Please comment in the space provided or email your thoughts to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. And – spread the word about the immediate need for more organ donors. On-line registration can be done at http://www.donatelife.net/index.php Whenever you can, help people formally register. There is nothing you can do that is of greater importance. If you convince one person to be a donor you may save or positively affect over 50 lives. Some of those lives may be people you know and love.
You are also invited to join Organ Transplantation Initiative (OTI) http://www.facebook.com/#!/group.php?gid=152655364765710 a group dedicated to providing help and information to donors, donor families, transplant patients and families, caregivers and all other interested parties. Your participation is important if we are to influence decision makers to support efforts to increase organ donation and support organ regeneration, replacement and research efforts.