This is a very different subject from what I normally talk about on my blog but I want to open up a discussion and share a bit more about myself and a bit of why I chose to be an organ donor.
DID YOU KNOW???An organ donation from a single person can save up to eight other people. And one of the biggest misconceptions that keep people from becoming a doner that they are less likely to try to save your life. Which is not true. The doctor's primary goal is to protect the owner of the organ first. And also doctors do not get any investments or have any affiliation with the transplant center. So there is no reason for them not to do what they are there to do and that is to take care of you while you are yet still breathing. I also learned that "there are three layers of protection against that" one at the national level called UNOS, one at the local level called the OPO, and these have rules and regulations that protect organ donation. Let's me be clear on what UNOS and OPO are because what we not going to do on this blog is use words and terms that people may not understand. Again I want to educate just as I was educated.
UNOS also known as United Network for Organ Sharing is a private, non-profit organization that manages the nation's organ transplant system under contract with the federal government. This collaboration helps make life-saving organ transplants possible each day.
OPO also known as Organ Procurement Organization offer opportunities for volunteering and helping to raise awareness about the importance of registering as a doner. There are 58 OPOs in the United States, each with its own designated service area.
OPOs have two major roles in their service area. They are responsible for:
Now that you know that it's important for me to share my WHY?! First, let me say it wasn't the OPO that convinced me into donating my organs. In fact, I didn't learn of OPO & UNOS until I decided to do research after donating my organs. What initially inspired me was my father.
I don't talk about this too much because I don't put my family business out in the streets. But 4-5 years ago my father who was a very very healthy man fell ill...deathly ill. He had this rare disease called vasculitis which is an inflammation of the blood vessels. Vasculitis may thicken and weaken blood vessel walls. And if that happens that means the blood flow is restricted which causes organ damage. In my dad's case, his kidneys were affected. You all just don't know how this affected my father's life being a pastor and our life as a whole. No one knows till this day how he got vasculitis. This disease caused a lot of headaches where he couldn't bring among other things. So to make the long story short he had to go on dialysis because our kidneys are what filters everything out. The fluids weren't filtering which is why he had to do dialysis to pull the fluid and filter it, he couldn't urinate for years. And because of the kidney failure, he had to limit his fluid intake and he had to change his way of eating going on a renal diet plan. It was really hard but God has been so merciful and has shown us how to do things. And throughout this situation, my father has remained strong. He's a strong man y'all. His faith really inspires me. He put all of His trust in God.
Anywho to get a kidney transplant it can take years to get on that list then it can take longer just to get a kidney and to find a match for you. Let me show you how God works. So my father just got on the list which was supposed to take another 2-3 years but he got on in March which was a miracle and 3 weeks ago I had just made it to Dallas when my mother called and told me that they found a kidney donor for my dad. I immediately went back home NO QUESTION! Thanks to my friend for offering to take me back to Houston on such a short notice. The person that wanted to donate their kidney was getting ready to die and Memorial Transplant Hospital had called my dad a day earlier telling him that they found a kidney for him and to get him to the hospital and everything so they could prep him. He was number 40 on that list for the kidney transplant and was THE ONLY match for that kidney! Can you believe that? He passed up all 39 of the people that were on that list. NOTHING BUT GOD! But anyway they were very private on who the donation came from but they did say that the person wanted to be a blessing to someone else. And because of this person, my father has a kidney today.
And this is what inspired me to become a donor. My mother and I were talking while my father was recovering and she was telling me about the story of the doner and how this person wanted to be a donor and I asked her about the process. And basically told me when I renew my license I can select myself as a donor in the paper-work. Good thing I didn't renew my license sooner. I just renewed it this past Monday and selected that I wanted to become an organ donor.
Look, when I die I want to be a blessing to someone else as they were to my father. I would have given my kidney to my father but God didn't want that. My mom was going to give up her kidney also but come to find out she wasn't a match. God didn't want that. He had a plan that was bigger than what we could imagine. I get to spend many more years with my father because of this Kidney Donor.
I hope this changes the misconception of becoming a donor. And opens up a dialog. It was really hard for me to share this side of myself and my life because I'm very private with my personal life. But I thought that this was a great opportunity to bring awareness.
For more information about becoming Organ Doner go to these two sites: