Organ donation touches — and saves — lives

Published 9:55 am Friday, May 3, 2013

April was Donate Life Month, and as the month came to an end, my brother Craig and I wanted to encourage everyone to take time to reflect on the drastic need for organ and tissue donors.

On April 7 we had the great honor of participating in and being recognized by an organization in Burlington called “The Cause.”

The Cause promotes resource awareness related to health issues. For this particular event the organization chose to focus on organ donation, which has impacted our family in a very dramatic way.

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After suffering kidney failure in the fall of 2001, Craig was told he would need a kidney transplant or remain on dialysis. After all testing was complete, I was identified as a match and we were able to have the transplant surgery in the spring of 2002. It’s been more than 11 years and both of us are doing fine.

However, right now, only 55 percent of Ohioans have registered as donors. Because of the lack of donors, 18 men, women and children die each day in the U.S. because an organ transplant didn’t come in time.

Unfortunately, myths and misconceptions prevent many people from registering. The most common fear is that medical professionals will not work hard to save the lives of registered organ and tissue donors.

This is simply not true.

We have seen firsthand the power of organ and tissue donation. We’ve seen the comfort it can give to a family whose loved one lives on through the gift of donation and the incredible appreciation felt by transplant recipients.

We urge you to learn the facts about donation for the more than 117,500 Americans, including 3,400 Ohioans, who are waiting for a second chance at life through transplantation.

If you think about it, you probably know someone in Lawrence County or the Tri-State region who may be waiting or whose life has already been touched by organ donation.

As the month of April has now come to a close, we want to thank organizations like The Cause and encourage you to learn more about donation or to register as a donor, by visiting or call 800-525-5667.

Be a hero. Be an organ, eye and tissue donor.

God Bless.

Robert Pleasant