Friday, August 13, 2010

Are You A Donor?

California Donor Registry Reaches Seven Million Donors!

Gov. Schwarzenegger Issues Statement on Donate Life’s California Donor Registry Reaching Seven Million Donors

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today issued the following statement after Donate Life announced that its Donate Life California Donor Registry hit seven million donors:

“Being a donor is one of the most selfless and courageous things a human can do, and I am thrilled to know that seven million Californians have signed up to help save lives. However, there are thousands waiting in hope of a transplant and we must continue to work to increase the number of donors, and that’s exactly what SB 1395 will do. This legislation, which I announced earlier this year, will make it easier for Californians to affirm their preferred organ donor status, thereby helping increase the number of donors. I look forward to the legislature sending this bill to my desk so I can sign it into law.”

On March 19, Governor Schwarzenegger and Senator Elaine Alquist (D-Santa Clara) announced the introduction of SB 1395. The legislation would give Californians a choice between registering to be an organ donor or considering at another time via a mandated question through the Department of Motor Vehicles driver license application/renewal or state ID card application process. The legislation would also create the nation’s first living donor registry for kidney transplants to better connect those who want to donate with those in need of a transplant.

I recently had to renew my Driver's License and one of the questions that I was asked was if I wanted to have a pink dot put on it to show that I was an organ donor. I at first automatically marked it as a "yes" as I have had the pink dot on my license for years. Then I changed my mind and marked it "no". I changed it to no because I was not sure if my organs were now donable because I have had a type of skin cancer removed and I have heard that anyone who has had any type of cancer cannot donate their organs. So I left it as a "No" so that when the time comes my family will be able to find out from the doctors if they can be donated.

Organ donation is a hard subject to bring up when someone is dying or has passed away. I know this because when my real father was dying years ago, I had to make this decision. The hospital was not allowed to approach me, I had to approach them. I somehow remembered to ask about it and then found out that his major organs could not be donated. I then asked what could be donated and they told me. I decided to donate what could be donated and then I agreed to let them use my father's body at the hosptial for teaching purposes before it was cremated. It was a University Hospital and not many bodies are donated for learning purposes. From the letters I received I know they really appreciated it.

With my stepfather's death, it was not up to me to make the decision and so I never brought it up. I would never bring it up to a family during a time of grief. And I have to say that who ever thought up the idea about putting it on one's driver's license truly did a wonderful thing. There is no greater gift then to give the gift of life, but there is also no better gift then to take the pressure off of one's family to have to make this decision during their time of grief. I will never know what made me think about choosing to donate my father's organs during our time of grief, but I will always be thankful that I made the choice to do what I could.

So I would like to ask you to make the choice to give the gift of life, I truly hope that I will be able to donate something when my time here on earth ends, will you please donate too?

God bless all those who have donated, and those who will donate!!