I recently received a letter from a lady who brought something to my attention. She disagreed with a statement I had made that the old blue organ donation cards should be forgotten. So let me make a correction.
The Sign Up for Life website was created to make it easy to become an organ donor and to make people’s intended wishes easier to obtain. When people get in to accidents and are rushed in to the hospital, organ donation cards are not always found or brought with them.
When the time comes, the website is easily accessed by the doctors to find out the their patients’ intent.
The Sign Up website obviously wants people to sign up online and I agree with that. But I also realize that not everyone has access to a computer.
So I will suggest this. If computers aren’t your thing or you don’t have access to one, ask a family member who has a computer to help you register. This way you can also discuss your wishes with your family so they will know what you really want and your decision will be honoured.
If you don’t want to sign up online, then sign a blue organ donor card and keep it with you. Discuss your choice with your family so even if the card is unavailable they will know your intentions.
Also, please know that you do not have to be deceased to be a kidney donor. Living donors are giving away kidneys all the time. Our bodies can function with only one kidney. That is why a person with failed kidneys waiting for a transplant only receives one kidney. Many people are born with only one kidney, and some of them people don’t even know. People with one kidney are fully capable of living completely normal lives.
I am promoting organ donation because I, like many other Manitobans, am waiting for a life-saving organ. My goal is to inform as many people as possible so everyone can realize how many people are waiting for hearts, lungs, kidneys and more.
So, whether you sign up online or sign a blue card, please become an organ donor. We need more people to register to make a difference. So please help make a difference. Be an organ donor.
Jennifer Laferriere is a community correspondent for Garden City who is awaiting a kidney transplant.