Today’s Not Just Valentine’s Day
While today is Valentine's Day, February 14 is also National Donor Day, in honor of the selfless people who give the gift of life by becoming organ and tissue donors. Here's a few things you need to know about organ donation:
- It's not enough to just check the box on your driver's license. That's a great place to start, but it's not legally binding -- your family still has to give approval to the doctors after you pass. So, it's super important to tell your family that you wish to donate. If they don't know, they can't fulfill your wish to help save lives.
- There are 113,000 men, women and children in America waiting for transplants. To put it another way, there are enough people waiting to fill Five Flags Center nearly 22 times.
- 8,000 of those people will die this year waiting. There are a lot of people waiting and simply not enough organs to go around. Unfortunately, a lot of people won't be able to make it until a compatible donor is found.
- 95% of us are in favor of donating, but only 58% are actually registered. Registering doesn't mean you'll be called for live organ transplants -- that's something only you can decide you want to do. Instead, registering allows your organs to go on living after the rest of you passes away. You're truly giving the gift of life.
Organ donation is important to us at Townsquare Media of Dubuque, namely because my wife Heather was able to live twice as long because of the generosity of two donors. She received her first heart when she was 21, and until she passed of cancer two years ago at age 44, she was a healthy, vibrant woman who was passionate about educating people about the importance of organ donation.
With that in mind, my family has launched a new website in her honor at heathersheart.org. This website is full of stories -- not just of the dry, boring science-y parts, but also stories of people who have received transplants, who are waiting for transplants, and who have given the gift of life. The site also features articles about Heather, so you'll get to know the woman who is such a major part of my life, even though she's no longer physically with us. And while you're there, you'll also be able to register to donate -- but don't forget to tell your family!
(Or, if you don't want to wait, click here to register to donate.)
I hope you'll take a few minutes to check out the site and if you'd be so kind, please share it on your social media pages so that more people can become aware.