Cute N Cool

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Become an Organ Donor...

I have had a little red heart on my drivers license for years, at least 15 years I think. It means I am a registered organ donor.

 I did it while updating my drivers license at some point in time.

Recently the idea of what this means became up close and personal to my family, very personal. 

Within a 6 week period of time, my brother-in-law went from not feeling well, to full liver failure with his kidneys starting to fail as well... and then being told he was declined approval to be added to the organ transplant list for a liver transplant. This was at the top transplant hospital in our area. 

He was told to go home to hospice.

Through a series of miracles ( I am not using that term lightly...I truly believe they really were miracles) as hundreds of prayer warriors were standing in the gap in prayer for him.
He not only got approved for the transplant list via a different hospital in Seattle, but he also received his new liver just one week after being added to the National Transplant List. He was at the top of our regions list when his name was added, that is how sick he was.

If this had not happened, we would not have this wonderful man alive and continuing to get better day after day today. We are all so very thankful, and in awe of what happened.

As the head of that hospitals transplant team told him later... a certain doctor with clout went to bat for him, and advocated for him...saying "he's a good man, and needs a chance". I feel that the favor of God was with my brother in law, and gave him favor with all those who were associated with his case.

Now that being said, we need to also recognize that another family had experienced a devastating loss, while my family was rejoicing for our precious family member getting a chance at life. While we were crying with excitement, another family was weeping for their personal loss.

I can only pray for that family as they mourn for their lost son, father, brother, uncle, and loved one. I can also be very thankful that the donor and his family gave our family and others families life at the time they were in the depth of their loss... because he was a registered organ donor.  I wish I could thank them personally at some time.

I encourage anyone and everyone, if you have not signed up to be an organ donor, do so. To find out more click on  The National Donation Network, to see what it is about. 

If you have questions about how your religion views this program, you may be surprised to know that most religions support organ and tissue donation as a selfless act of giving.  To give ones organs is an expression to a true deep act of the command to "love thy neighbor". 
You may want to click here for more information regarding your faith and being a donor.

If you go to Organ Procurement & Transplantation Network OPTN, you will see how many are "waiting list candidates"... as of today, it shows 118,545, and every 10 minutes someone new is added to the list.  

 On average 18 people die every day because they did not receive an organ donation. Did you know that the success rate for organ transplantation is 80-90%?

Because we are in Washington State, we are connected to a region made up of Washington, Oregon, North Idaho, Alaska, Montana and Hawaii, for transplants. The good news is some of these states have a very high percentage of organ donor registrations. I read that Montana is 84%, and Washington is 74%. 

I also read that Vermont is 5%, New Jersey is 30% and New York is 20%, which would mean our story may have had a different ending if we had lived in the region that included these states.

Many states like mine, Washington let you sign up at the Department of Licensing. To find out how to register in your state, and get more information,  click on Organ, and choose your state from the drop down bar on the upper right side of the page.

I know this is not a subject we like to think about, but if your family member was the one needing a transplant, this subject becomes very personal and real. You just don't know.



  1. Thanks for posting this Jan! Very well said. We all need to be donors.
    We are so so grateful for the gift of life that has given to us and we hold his family in our hearts & prayers.
    We have been blessed!
    Your Sis & Bro-in-law

  2. Beautiful post. Unfortunately, I am unable to donate but I do believe in it whole heartedly. I have a beautiful niece in Oregon who is on the transplant list. Because of her blood type it is very difficult to find a donor. All of my children were tested as were many of her other cousins and siblings. We have no family match at all.
    I will rejoice for your family also and remember the family who gave your brother in law a new life.

  3. Just read your profile. I am a Snohomish alumni living up the road from you in Arlington. Would love for you to stop by my blog for a chat sometime :)


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