April marks the month of donating life.
In light of celebrating organ and blood donations, the Peace Bridge will be lit up in green and blue for the month. This is a reminder to residence to consider aiding to others lives through donation.
What can you do to help?
I asked myself that question eight years ago when my father was in need a liver transplant. Unfortunately, I couldn’t directly help my father because we didn’t have the same blood type – but that didn’t mean I couldn’t help other people.
According to New York State Donate Life, there are “more than 10,000 New Yorkers on waiting lists for organ donations. Statistically, one person who donates organs (hearts, lungs, liver, kidneys, pancreas and intestines) can save up to eight lives, while a tissue donor (corneas, bone, skin, heart valves, tendons, veins, etc.) can improve 12 or more lives by restoring eyesight, helping fight infections in burn patients and preventing the loss of mobility and disability.”
I understand how scary the thought of donation can be. When asked at 16 years old if I wanted to sign the back of my license, I refused.
It took a loved one to need help for me to understand what it really meant to sign that dotted line.
Thanks to two people who weren’t afraid to sign that line, my father is the recipient of two livers. One of which, has allowed my family an additional seven years of life thus far with my father.
Without their selflessness, my life wouldn’t be the same today.
In 2006, I signed the line and became an organ donor. I hope to someday provide the same opportunity to another family.
However, looking back, I wish I could have made that decision sooner.
It doesn’t have to hit so close to home for others to make that decision. Your selflessness can save someone else’s life. It can give someone a second chance to live a normal, fulfilling life.
Please consider becoming an organ donor. It may change your life as well.
(These are the opinions of the author. Sciandra can be reached at email@example.com).