National Donor Day: Are You A Donor?

Graphic by Dana Davenport / ProSymbols

Graphic by Dana Davenport / ProSymbols

By: Denver Regine Lark

Denver is a part of the TLC College Ambassador Program and attends North Carolina A&T University.

Many people pride themselves on making this day solely for their significant other. Excessive, chocolates, flowers and a variety of other gifts. But February 14 is more than just Valentine’s Day.

In 1998, National Donor Day began by the Saturn Corporation and its partnership with United Auto Workers and the support of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The generous holiday raises awareness to donate organs, tissues, marrow, platelets and blood. To support this day, many nonprofit health organizations sponsor marrow and blood drives, as well as organ and tissue sign-ups.

According to Donatelife.net, 95 percent of Americans are in favor of being a donor, but only 54 percent are registered. What does that say about Americans? Does it say we speak but don’t act? How do we bridge this gap?

The Life Currency reached out to two North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University students to talk the importance of being a donor and why it’s a decision any donor needs to be fully committed to.

THE DONOR

Q: What made you decide to become a donor?

A: I could not live knowing that I have an organ that can save someone’s life, and I’m just laid to rest with an organ wasted. Unfortunately, short after I became an organ donor I found out a very close family member needed a kidney, and with the high 82 percent of patients solely needing kidney donors, I knew the wait would be extensive. In that very moment I knew that I had made not only a life-changing decision for someone in need but myself.

Q: How do you feel about being an organ donor?

A: Honestly it’s scary, but I’m happy knowing that my organ saved someone’s life, and that it was not only a blessing to them but their loved ones.

Q: What do you have to say to or about people who are not organ donors?

A: No one never really understand the severity of becoming an organ donor until something happens to them or a loved one. I understand their position and reasoning, but I believe that people should consider putting themselves in the family’s shoes. How would you feel if your loved one needed an organ or blood, or possibly yourself?

THE NON-DONOR

Q: What made you decide not to be a donor?

A: Originally, I wanted to but my mother not only discouraged me but forced me not to. She said if the government really needed my body, they would kill me. She said it that harshly and my mind was quickly changed.

Q; How do you feel about not being an organ donor, and would you possibly change your mind?

A: I feel no different because if it was meant to be, it would have been. My mother’s words would of never struck so much fear in me. As far as changing my mind and becoming an organ donor, it’s possible but it may take some real-world experience to do so. Like a fellow loved one, or maybe even myself needing one. But I do not want wish that on anyone.

Q: What do you have to say to or about people who are organ donors?

I am thrilled that someone can be that hero for the one’s in need. Be proud of your bravery. Who knows, maybe I will join the fight some day!