April is a big month. Spring is really starting to kick in, generally we have stopped getting snow of any depth, and the sun stays out just a little bit longer in the evening. April is also big for another very different, yet very important reason. Every year, the month of April is celebrated as National Donate Life Month—a month where being an organ donor is brought to the forefront. Did you know that an organ donor can save 8 lives and enhance 75 more? According to the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network, there are 106,462 people waiting for a transplant and another person is added to a transplant waiting list every 9 minutes. Sadly, 17 people die each day waiting for an organ transplant.
How can you help? One of the simplest ways to become an organ donor is to make sure that little box is checked off on your driver’s license. For more information, be sure to visit the Michigan Secretary of State Organ Donation site. This is not the only way to become an organ donor. According to the Donate Life website, there are many ways to sign up to be organ, eye, or tissue donor, including registering to be a donor on their website. Locally, you can also get involved with Gift of Life Michigan to learn more about the donation process, become a donor, or to volunteer.
One of CPL's staff members, Youth Librarian Miss Michelle, has a personal story to share about organ donation and the impact it has had on her life.
"April is very personal for me as my father is one of the many people who benefitted from the generosity of a family we will never meet. Due to their selfless gesture of organ donation, my father received a new heart that he has been successfully living with for the past five years. Thanks to this special individual, he is spending time with family, including grandkids he didn’t believe he would live to see, and once again working as a nurse in a doctor’s office setting. I can never thank this family enough for the gift they gave us during a time of unbearable tragedy in their lives.
I will never get to thank the person whose heart my father now lives with, but his choice, and that of his family, will never be forgotten in my life and in all the lives that are touched by my father."