There are 4,700 people in Illinois that are waiting for an organ or tissue donation, but more than 6.5 million people are registered as organ/tissue donors.
According to LifeGoesOn.com, Illinois donor information and registration website, each year about 300 people die waiting for “their gift of life.”
Also, “one person can save or improve the quality of life for up to 25 people,” according to the website.
Given this information, we at The Daily Eastern News strongly encourage everyone to register to be an organ and tissue donor because, simply put, you save a life.
We feel that this topic is one that is rarely talked about because of a lack of understanding on what it means to be a donor, and we understand that people might be scared to donate their organs, and we know that there are some who cannot donate their organs because of religious beliefs.
Keep in mind, though: Organ donation only occurs when a person is diagnosed legally brain dead, and it does not occur until all efforts to save a person’s have failed, according to a fact sheet from the Illinois Secretary of State Office.
Also according to the fact sheet, even though some people believe their religious views do not support organ/tissue donation, “all major Western and Eastern religions support organ/tissue donation.”
Furthermore, according to the fact sheet, “older Americans are the most supportive of the concept of organ donation, but the least likely to register as donors.”
“They believe they are too old; however, 40 percent of the Illinois organ donors in 2017 were over the age of 50. The oldest cornea recipient was 107 years old, and the oldest organ donor was 85 years old and successfully donated a kidney,” according to the fact sheet.
Therefore, as harsh and blunt as it may seem, we want to remind everyone that you do not need your organs when you are dead.
Someone else could benefit from them, and as we said before, there are countless people on the transplant list waiting for an organ or for tissue in order to survive.
On a side note, you don’t have to be dead to donate. You could be living a donor and donate a kidney for example.
More than 80 percent of people are waiting for a kidney and 12 percent are waiting for a liver, according to the fact sheet.
Other organs that are needed include the heart, lungs, pancreas and small intestine. Tissues that are needed include corneas, saphenous veins, heart valves, bones and skin, according to the fact sheet.
Please consider being an organ donor. Think about how many lives your organs can save after you are gone and how many people will get the help they need in order to survive.
You can be a hero, so start by registering today to help those who are fighting for their life.
To register to be an organ donor, you can visit www.lifegoeson.com, call 1-800-210-2106 or visit your local drivers license facility and register when you get your license.
You also have to be at least 16.
According to a brochure found on the website, a donor’s family is never charged for the recovery of organs, and they do not receive compensation. Also, funeral and burial arrangements are not delayed because of organ/tissue donation.
Consent to be a donor may be withdrawn at any time by notifying the Secretary of State’s office.
The Illinois Donor Registry is confidential. Information contained in the registry is released to authorized personnel after all efforts to save a person have failed and death has been declared, according to the website.
The Editorial Staff can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]