Also, more people have registered to be organ donors after the news of the bus crash which means even more lives are going to be saved. It's an amazing chain reaction after such a terrible situation.
The chances of becoming an organ donor after you die are still fairly slim. You have to die under just the right circumstances which is why it's so important for those who are able to donate, to do so. In the meantime, while you're still alive, there are things you can do to help.
1) You can register to be a stem cell/bone marrow transplant donor (if you're between 18-35). While it's unlikely you'll ever be called, there is the chance you can save someone's life. A stem cell transplant can help cure someone's cancer. Cure!
I was an inpatient at the bone marrow transplant ward of the VG when they had empty beds and it felt like a first class suite compared to the rest of the cancer floor. The rooms were larger, the nursing ratio was better, the air was specially filtered. It was great to stay in because I wasn't the one needing a bone marrow transplant. The filtered air and better nursing care is important when someone has zero immune system and their body is trying to grow blood cells.
Having my cancer spread into the spinal cord cancer was what my doctor was trying to prevent by injecting me with chemotherapy medication into my spinal fluid. As a result, I spent a lot of time worrying about the cancer spreading and me needing a bone marrow transplant. Thankfully it didn't happen but it easily could have.
2) You can donate blood! I recognize Canadian Blood services doesn't accept everyone but speaking for those who have required a blood transfusion, we really appreciate those who are able. As someone who has had multiple blood, plasma, and platelet transfusions, I am very thankful to everyone who has donated. It has saved my life.
3) Casually bring up organ donation to your friends, family, and/or co-workers enough times that it no longer seems "terrifying" or "morbid" and they'll be more receptive to being a donor. If no one has ever talked about it, it will be too overwhelming when their loved one dies to make that decision.
Here are a few "fun" organ donation statistics from the Trillium Life Network for you to sprinkle into conversations this week:
- There have been 49 lung transplants from Jan 1-March 31 this year in Ontario.
- As of April 22, 2018, in Ontario, there are currently:
- 49 people waiting for a lung transplant;
- 39 waiting for a heart transplant;
- 1,116 waiting for a kidney transplant;
- 226 waiting for a liver;
- and 1 person waiting for a small bowel.
- The 2017 registration rate in Ontario was 32%, up one percent from 2016.
- While there was a spike in organ donation registration after the Humboldt crash, that number has dropped back to normal so it's important to keep the conversation going.
|This could be your blood saving a person from their own body.|