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Front Page » April 8, 2014 » Opinion » Guest Column: Be a donor; help a life
Published 206 days ago

Guest Column: Be a donor; help a life


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By DIXIE MADSEN
Intermountain Donor Services

At 17 years old, Marco learned that his kidneys were failing. To stay alive, he had to go to the University of Utah every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and be hooked to a life-saving dialysis machine from 5:30 am to 10:00 am. "I barely even knew what a kidney or dialysis was, and suddenly, I found myself hooked up to a machine just to stay alive," said Marco. It was a grueling schedule, especially since Marco continued to work full time and attend college full time, working on his Bachelor's degree in business.

After spending over three years on dialysis, Marco's story had a happy outcome. He received a kidney transplant on the day before his 21 birthday. Since then, he has continued to work, go to college, got married and now has a baby girl.

Surveys show that 95% of the population thinks organ donation is a good thing; however, in Utah, only about 70 % of the population over 18 have registered as donors. Are you one of the 95% that think organ donation is a good thing? If so, the next question is, are you one of the 70% that has signed up either on your driver license/state ID or the Yes Utah Donor Registry? Or, are you one of the 25% that just hasn't gotten around to it? For those of you waiting for just the right time, consider:

•Over 121,000 people in the US are waiting for a life saving transplant.

•Every year, over 6,000 people die waiting because of a lack of transplantable organs.

•In 2013, 41 people in Utah died waiting for an organ transplant.

•Almost 750 Utahns are currently waiting for a life saving organ.

The good news is this:

•One organ donor can save up to nine lives.

•One tissue donor can change the lives of fifty people.

•Cornea transplants are successful over 90% of the time.

•Very few medical conditions rule out organ donation.

•Even if someone can't donate blood, they could still be an organ donor.

‹Organs can be recovered up to the age of 80.

Here's how you can help.

•Say yes to organ, eye, and tissue donation on your driver license, state ID, or the Yes Utah Donor Registry.

•Have a speaker come to your place of business for a "brown bag" lunch meeting.

•If you belong to church or social organization, please consider inviting one of our speakers to give a presentation.

•Become a fan on Facebook, www.facebook.com/yesutah and repost information.

Please say "yes" to organ, eye and tissue donation.

Here is your opportunity. Just go to www.yesutah.org, say yes on your driver license or state ID. It is that easy! Help other Utahn's, like Marco, who are waiting for a life saving transplant.

Sign up today.

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April 8, 2014
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