Most people don’t like to think about what will happen when they die, but you may wonder, “Should I be an organ donor?” There are many compelling reasons to do so, and it’s easy to sign up. Don’t miss your chance to help others long after you are gone. 

You Can Save Lives

Saving lives is the most obvious reason, but it’s also the most important. By becoming an organ donor, you could save up to eight lives.

However, not all of us will die in a way that makes organ transplants possible. That is why numerous individuals must designate themselves as donors to save even one life.

Only one percent of those who die are physically capable of donating life-saving organs to others in need. However, if you are among the one percent who can contribute, you can save one or many lives!

Organs cannot be donated after death but can be donated if the donor remains on life-support. These include:

  • Heart 
  • Lungs 
  • Liver 
  • Pancreas
  • Kidneys 
  • Small intestines 

The skin is technically an organ but is considered part of “Tissue Donation.” Tissue Donation is done after death and can include:

  • skin
  • bone
  • corneas
  • heart valves
  • veins

Organ donation not only saves lives but can also help people live longer. As an organ donor, your organs may have more health and work better for the recipient’s entire lifetime. The recipient has a better chance of living a long and healthy life.

It’s Easy to Sign Up & Free to Donate

Becoming an organ donor is easy. You can sign up when you get your driver’s license or state ID. You can also sign up online. It only takes a few minutes, and there’s no cost involved. According to Honor Bridge, “In less than 2 minutes, you can register to save lives. One donor can save up to 8 lives and heal more than 75. Join the National Donate Life Registry today and be a hero to those waiting for a second chance at life.”

Donating your organs does not cost you or your family anything. If you become an organ donor, your family will not receive a bill for the cost of your donation. Additionally, they may even receive some financial assistance to cover funeral costs.

It’s easy to remove your name from the registry if you change your mind about being an organ donor. If you don’t want to donate a specific organ(s), you can specify which organs you wish to donate and which ones you don’t.

You Can Donate Without Being a Perfect Match

Even if you’re not a perfect match for someone in need of a transplant, you may still be able to help. Some organs, such as the kidney, can be transplanted from a donor who is not a perfect match. Other organs, such as the heart, can be transplanted from a donor who is not the same blood type as the recipient.

In addition, you don’t have to have perfect health to give the gift of life to another person.   Most people with chronic illnesses or conditions can still donate organs. The transplant team decides whether or not to use an organ from a specific donor on a case-by-case basis.

You Can Choose Who Benefits

When you become an organ donor, you can specify how you want the transplant teams to use your organs. For example, you may wish to donate your organs to someone on the national transplant waiting list.

Or, you may want to donate your organs to someone you know who needs a transplant. You can also choose to have your organs donated for medical research.

Deciding to become an organ donor is personal. However, it’s crucial to realize the great need for organs. More than 114,000 people in the United States are waiting for a life-saving organ transplant. Of those, more than 101,000 need a kidney.

Other organs needed include:

  • Liver – 17,000 people waiting
  • Heart – 4000 people waiting
  • Pancreas – 2000 people waiting
  • Small intestine – 200 people waiting
  • Corneas – over 40,000 people waiting
  • Tissue – over one million tissue transplants are performed each year in the U.S. (skin, bone, heart valves, etc.)

A Personal Decision to Give

Signing up to be an organ donor is easy, and it’s a selfless act that can change lives. Organ donation is a personal decision, and there is no right or wrong answer. However, it’s essential to think about what you would want if you needed a transplant. Would you want someone to donate their organs to you? If so, then become an organ donor yourself!

Giving life to others gives them more birthdays and more time to love their children, spouses, and friends. Some people spend years on transplant lists waiting for their chance to live a whole life again. Checking the organ donor box often gives recipients less pain and more quality of life with their loved ones! Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?

Additionally, organ donor recipients feel so much gratitude to you that your memory lives on. The recipient and their family never forget the gift you gave! The old saying, “Tis better to give than to receive,” applies here. We may not understand what it feels like to need a life-saving transplant, but the families whose loved ones are dying understand true desperation. The anguished waiting for a transplant is even worse when the one in need is a child or young person.

There are many good reasons to become an organ donor. It’s quick and easy to sign up, and you could potentially save many lives. So if you’re not already an organ donor, consider signing up today. It could make all the difference for someone in need!

We Can Help

At Renaissance Funeral Home and Crematory, we help families plan for the inevitable. Part of that planning involves thinking about becoming an organ donor before you pass on. Giving the gift of life through organ donation is a privilege.

Giving your family a beautiful and memorable occasion to come together and remember you is also a tremendous gift. A well-planned funeral or memorial lets your family come together and begin to heal their grief about losing you. Your preplanning takes the stress of planning off of your loved ones so they can concentrate on each other. Families need closeness to find their way.

If you or a loved one are making end-of-life plans, get in touch with us at Renaissance. We would love to help you understand the process of organ donation and everything else to think about for end-of-life preparations. Contact us and find out how we can help.