Give Life-Be an Organ Donor

March 11, 2015 Cheryl Smith Awareness and Prevention, Disease Prevention, Men's Health, Women's Health

As I celebrate a 10 year cancerversary, I can’t help but think about others who have just been diagnosed, those still fighting every minute of every day, and those who have lost the fight. I was lucky and I try to give back every day in my love for others and interactions.   And I’m an organ donor.

Ten years ago I was diagnosed with Stage II Renal Cell Carcinoma. I can still remember the day I was diagnosed. I remember the pain I was in although time has dulled the feelings, the immediate anxiety about the unknown and the future, and I remember thinking am I going to survive this? I immediately started thinking of my next steps- power of attorney, living will, will and all the other financial implications one deals with when faced with a major illness. Things moved quickly for me and diagnosis and surgery was less than a week apart. As a result, I never complain about doctor appointments or testing running late because that week I’m sure I bumped everyone. This was one of many shifts in my thinking. I was blessed to be cared for so quickly and with such compassion. My cancer was all contained and my right kidney was removed. After the surgery and recovery, I was blessed to resume my life, my normal life.   Not everyone gets that chance.

march kidney month

March is National Kidney Month! There will be 5ks, 10ks, fundraisers and other activities to bring awareness of kidney disease, tips on kidney health and how to manage kidney disease. It’s also a great time to think about organ donation. Organ donation shares life with others. Donations are not limited to just organs, tissues are valuable too. Lifesaving transplants include heart, liver, pancreas, kidneys, lungs and small bowel. Tissues that could save or enhance someone’s life include eyes/corneas, heart valves, bones and skin grafts.

donate lifeDonate Life Tennessee is the state’s official, nonprofit (501c3) Organ and Tissue Donor Registry. Dedicated to saving the lives of thousands of Tennesseans who are waiting for life-saving transplants. Donate Life Tennessee provides you a place to document your decision of organ and tissue donation. Once you register, you are immediately available to authorized donation professionals, which means your decision will be honored in the event of your death. You may also register when you renew or apply for a drivers license or ID with the Tennessee Department of Safety. Just remember to say “YES” every year to organ donation to remain on the registry.

Currently over 1900 Tennesseans are waiting for transplants and hoping for another chance at life! The power is in your hands. Register today!

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