It’s National Organ Donor Week

24 Apr
When I lived in Ontario, I donated blood fairly regularly.  In fact, going to a blood donation clinic was one of the first things Michael and I ever did together — how’s that for a romantic "first date"?  When I moved north, I was chagrined that I could no longer donate blood.  Even in a "big city" like Whitehorse, we’re not big enough to have the facilities to process and store donated blood.
However, I can be an organ donor.
Now, since most organ donations happen when a person dies, I have to admit that I don’t really want to be an organ donor for a long while yet.  But I know that it’s pretty inevitable that I’ll come to the end of my days at some point, so when I do, wouldn’t it be wonderful if I could help someone else to carry on?  Think of the impact, not only on that person, but on his or her whole family.  You can read one story about it here.  (No whining about sentimental drivel, Peaeater — it actually manages to be heart-warming without being saccharine.)
They say that the most important thing you can do to become an organ donor is not just to sign the organ donation card, but to make sure that your loved ones know that you want to be an organ donor.  I’m pretty sure Michael and Nem both know, but now all of you know.  So when the doctors ask, you won’t have to hem and haw and wonder if you should say yes or no.
I actually researched Yukon organ donation today because, having been made aware that it is National Organ Donor Week, and having been reminded that I once signed an organ donation card, I suddnely wondered if this was something that was actually done in Yukon.  I mean, transportation can sometimes be an issue even for living bodies around here.  Anyway, the answer is yes.  A team from Vancouver travels up and whisks you off to the nearest large centre where the organs/tissues are "retrieved".
Ahh, there’s nothing like talking about death to bring out the euphimisms.
So having already broached this topic that some of you might be loath to discuss, I’ll also remind you all to make sure you have your life insurance needs (if any) are taken care of, and to ensure your wills are up-to-date.  (Yikes! I’ve been trying to get ours updated since before Jade was born!) 
As an aside, I must admit that I have never understood why people are squeamish about discussing death.  The Yukon Health & Social Services website that talks about organ donation actually has a sizeable chunk dedicated to helping you figure out how to broach the subject.  Perhaps it’s because I look at the subject in an academic way; I’m pretty convinced that I’m not dying anytime soon, so I’m not worried about it yet.  Perhaps I’ll start stressing about it in 25 years or so.
Anyway, to wrap things up, here’s my favourite quote of the day: "Don’t take your organs to heaven; heaven knows we need them here!"

One Response to “It’s National Organ Donor Week”

  1. Peter April 25, 2007 at 7:05 pm #

    hokay…. no whining. i\’m all for giving away organs. giving your own after death is also

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