What keeps people from donating?
The big question is this: What keeps people from donating? And how can we get over that barrier?
Fear – often we fear what we have no experience in. People fear surgery. People fear death. People fear the future – and I’m donate a kidney not talking about the healthy donor…I’m talking about the receiver. So, as a potential donor, if you are faced with fear, go beyond yourself. Think of how your act of selflessness can change the life of someone in need. Now think about what if you stay in your comfort zone and NOT do it. What would be the chain reaction in the sick person’s life? Which one has the most impact on you? Don’t get me wrong, we all have our comfort zones for a reason. But always think both scenarios through. Often times you’ll be amazed at what you come up with.
Non-communicated wishes – yes, you must tell someone. Signing your driver’s license is great. Registering with a donation service is better. But the most effective is to tell someone. Better yet, write it down for those who are closest to you and can make decisions on your behalf. Investigate the legal ways to make sure your wishes will be granted. You can find out more at websites such as Donate Life, Transplant Living, or UNOS. Once you make the decision, who will you tell? How will you make sure your wish will be granted?
Thinking you can’t be alive to donate – this is false. Both my mother and my sister were living donors. They both are healthy living normal, functioning lives. They are both living successfully on one kidney. You can be alive a donate a portion of your liver, lung, pancreas, intestine, and yes, even a whole kidney. How do you see yourself living as a donor?
Thinking people have families, so, you aren’t needed – let me tell you, currently there are over 110,000 patients waiting for a transplant. There are over 1,700 children waiting. I’m more than positive that if they could get a transplant from a family member they certainly would. But unfortunately, for whatever reason, most aren’t that blessed. So yes, you are needed. Imagine someone getting the call “we’ve found a donor for you”, what do you imagine that recipient would be able to do because you stepped up?
If you have any questions, I’m sure a nearby hospital would be happy to speak with you. You can also search different organizations dedicated to organ donation. There’s a wealth of information out there, make sure you get it from reputable sources. Get educated, that’s the best way to make a sound decision.
Overall, please, make the decision that’s best for you. But, don’t let the “what if’s” and “I can’t help” stand in the way. Life depends on it!