My last action before I turned 29 was to sign up as an organ donor. I met Fawn last year through Twitter and we have become really close friends since meeting. From the very moment I started following Fawn on Twitter, she has been a true inspiration for me. Fawn suffers from Cystic Fibrosis and in March 2013, Fawn survived a double lung transplant. You can read the full story here.
Since meeting Fawn I find that I appreciate many of the smaller things in life like being able to go the movies without worrying if my coughing will bother the person next to me. The fact that I can swim and hold my breath under water. The fact that every day, I have the energy to wake up and brush my own hair. The fact that when the electricity goes out I don’t need to worry whether my oxygen supply is going to have enough power to keep me alive. The fact that I am able to drive independently and go to work everyday. The fact that I had the chance to study and although I have my own health issues I was able to study and experience University. The fact that my growing years were not spent in hospital. I find myself living everyday a little more than the last one and I am taking chances and doing things that would previously have frightened me. I have let new people and new experiences excite me and I find I have fallen in love with life and appreciate what I have more than worrying about what I don’t have.
Before meeting Fawn I hadn’t given much thought to becoming an organ donor. The process of signing up could not be any easier. I went to sign up online and a few weeks later I received my letter with my organ donor card and three stickers. The stickers go onto my driver’s license, my medical aid card and my ID book.
Fawn organized a #ChariTea in aid of the Organ Donor Foundation to celebrate Womens Day. Besides the weather, the #ChariTea was awesome. 60 ladies came together at Bella on Rivonia to support the Organ Donor Foundation. We were all treated to delicious sugar free treats accompanied by bottomless Tea sponsored by Five Roses while having the opportunity to meet and hear from Nicci, a recipient awaiting an organ transplant as well as the touching story of a recipient, Alice who has already survived a transplant. It was so refreshing attending an event that catered for diabetic needs and those of us trying to watch our weight.
The goodie bags were superb as well which included a pair of gorgeous earrings from Trinket Trove reminding us to share hope, love and faith for the Organ Donor Foundation.
The black and white theme was classic, elegant and simple and the perfect setting for such an event. We were given the chance to enter additional raffle tickets for the amazing hamper prizes and quite a bit of additional funds were raised for the cause this way.
Ladies were also offered the chance to sign up to become an organ donor there and then at the #ChariTea. Over 28 new donors signed up which means 196 lives could potentially be saved. You can become an organ donor today and register here.
Here are a few things I have learnt about being an organ donor:
- If you are in an accident and are a registered organ donor, you are most likely to be attended to first
- Three independent doctors have to sign off before you can be declared brain dead
- Your body is not hacked into pieces, only viable organs are used and it is still possible to have an open casket funeral as your body is neatly sewn up and stuffed if need be
- There is no age limit on becoming an organ donor
- You can save 7 lives by signing up to be an organ donor
- Your family still need to give the go ahead before your organs are donated even if you have registered so be sure to let your family know of your intentions
- In addition to saving seven lives, your skin can be used to help burn victims and your corneas can be used for cornea transplants to restore a persons sight
- There are no tests involved to sign up to be a donor, all tests are done at the time your organs may be needed
- Your treating physician is not the same person who does the organ recovery therefore saving your life remains top priority over donating your organs
- There are approximately 4300 people in SA that are awaiting organs
I truly believe that our souls leave our physical bodies when the time comes and knowing that in death I will be able to save 7 lives makes me happy and feel like my death will mean something good. All the funds that are raised for the Organ Donor Foundation go towards the emergency flight fund to fetch organs from distant places, organ referrals education for emergency rooms and public awareness initiatives to raise more registered organ donors like myself.
If you are unsure how you can make a difference and are not quite ready to take the step in becoming an organ donor then at least help us to raise awareness in our communities so that more people know that they can choose to take the step and become registered organ donors. I am, are you?
Till next time
Live Life then Give Life