You can make the best of a terrible situation – April is Donate Life Month

Many of us are registered donors, as demonstrated by the red heart on our driver’s license, but our loved ones play a critical role in honoring this intent by providing background information required by federal regulations. Many people who are registered as a donor have never discussed that choice with their loved ones, potentially preventing their wishes from being fully honored.

To further complicate matters, the recovery of donated tissue must occur within 24 hours of an individual’s death, a time during which families are experiencing extreme emotional distress. Sharing your desire to be a donor with your loved ones makes this conversation a little easier.

Donated tissue implants, called allografts, can come in the form of a life-saving heart valve, as well as bone, tendons and ligaments, skin, or even cells that help repair injuries such as torn tendons, broken bones, damaged joints, burned skin and more. Allografts are even used for post-mastectomy reconstruction for breast cancer patients. Just one tissue donor can enhance more than 150 lives, providing hope to the estimated one in 20 Americans who will need some type of tissue transplant in their lifetime.

Washington State has one of the highest rates of donation registration in the U.S., fluctuating above 80 percent, yet we have seen loved ones reluctant to participate on behalf of someone who registered. We can’t say for certain why this is, but we can help by educating families on the donation process to ensure their loved ones’ wishes are honored, providing critical allografts for patients within our community.

LifeNet Health is dedicated to educating the community on this process to help close the gap and increase donation.

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Learn about the donation process at www.donatelife.net

Talk to your loved ones about your wishes for organ and tissue donation. Donate Life Month, held every April, is a great way to start the conversation.

Help bridge the gap by sharing the importance of donation on social media and with your family and friends who may or may not be registered.

Register to be an organ and tissue donor at https://www.donatelife.net/register/. Ninety-five percent of Americans are in favor of being a donor, but only 54 percent are registered.

– LifeNet Health

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By Morf Morford
Tacoma Daily Index

Organ donation – the term itself strikes to the core of the issue.

On one hand every aspect of our body is, and always has been, ours. Some traditions hold that the body, at its final resting, should be as intact as possible.

I like that idea.

On the other hand, if, at my death, my organs or tissue can improve, or even save, someone else’s life, it would be the ultimate act of generosity, if not faith, to literally give a part of my body to assist someone else.

I like that idea even more.

Washington state has one of the highest donor registration rates at over 80 percent, yet actual donation is low. Most people know about organ donation, but  did you know that tissue donation can enhance more than 150 lives?

April is Donate Life Month, but donations are needed every day.

I have been on record as an organ donator for many years now. I have also given blood several times.

For obvious reasons, I’d like to live as long as I can, but if I don’t literally wear out my organs before I die, somehow, whereever I go after I die,  I think I would rest easier knowing that my final act on the earth was of service to someone else.

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