I was trying to come up with a post idea for today late last night, and then I saw this post about Ted Bartling – a random, kind guy - donating a spare kidney to a kid. That led to the kid’s dad donating to someone else and that person’s friend donating to yet someone else. So that one random act of amazing kindness led to 3 people not only receiving kidney transplants, but leaving the hospital healthy again. That’s inspiring. And it got me to think…
I’m a Registered Donor
I’ve been a regular blood donor since college in 2001. But I decided in 2009 that I wanted to be an organ donor for sure. My personal belief is that when I’m dead, my body isn’t necessary anymore, so it might as well be used to help someone else (whether through direct donation or research – whatever I’m in best shape for by then). I did have the little heart on my driver’s license that said I was a donor, but I really wanted to make sure that I was in the system. So I let my husband know (he already assumed, lol) and I registered with Donate Life.
While I was researching that, I came across the idea of bone marrow donation, and registered at Be the Match in 2010. It’s apparently a very painful procedure, but it’s one of the few ways to help someone in an extraordinary way without literally giving up an organ that I am still using. They sent me a cheek swab kit and I am on file in their blood marrow donation registry. I’ve made sure to keep my contact info current at both places as well (they make it easy since they call or write once a year, hahaha).
Readers, please let me know if there are even better ways to follow through. Those are just the two I found.
Donating a Kidney
So, would I donate a kidney to a complete stranger? Probably not. I think Ted Bartling is astoundingly generous and I give him total props. Heck, I’d buy that man a few dinners if I could and just say thanks for being a great person. I just can’t picture myself giving up an organ I am using, even if I have two, for someone that I don’t know. I would totally donate a kidney to a family member or friend. I could even donate it to someone else if it means that my family member or friend could get matched too. So, I could be that kid’s dad or third person’s friend in the situation that just happened, but I am not unselfish enough to be Mr. Bartling.
That sort of makes me sad. I’m a helper. Heck, I’ll be honest, sometimes I am simply a people pleaser. And that is to everyone, not just people that I know. So it is sort of a smack in my own face to realize that I do have a line that isn’t something obvious. Like, I always knew that I am not the type of person to donate a heart or something like that to a stranger – something that I would die by doing. But I didn’t know that I wouldn’t even be willing to part with a kidney. Having that major surgery, and not having a backup kidney for myself anymore (or a kid if I ever have one), just isn’t something I can do. Oh well.
Do you donate blood? Are you planning to be an organ donor? What about blood marrow? Do you have an organ donation line too?