I am alive today because of an angel donor. I have an autoimmune liver disease - primary biliary cholangitis - that has treatment but no cure. Unfortunately, the illness is progressive and for some people a liver transplant is required. This was my situation. I was very ill, and failing quickly. While we searched for a live donor, time was running out. Due to the beautiful and selfless act of someone unknown to me, I received the gift of life in 2015. I am forever grateful to my donor, and have committed to paying it forward. In addition to being registered myself, I take every opportunity to inform people about the importance of organ and tissue donation, encouraging them to register, and to discuss their wishes with their loved ones. There is no greater gift and no greater legacy.
Opt-in to save a life
Organ donation saves lives. But it only works if people opt in to be a donor. It’s a highly personal decision, and one that should be contemplated with care. It should be discussed with loved ones, and it should be part of every end-of-life discussion and decision. We can consult with our clergy. We can confer with our physicians. We can deliberate with our attorneys. In the end, the decision is ours. But the fact remains - organ donation saves lives. I am here today because of an organ donor. I am here today because someone – my angel donor – decided to give a gift that he or she could no longer use. I am humble. I am sad. I am grateful. And I am inspired. Please join me and be a donor.