Yes, I'm an Organ Donor

by - 3:01 PM

I knew it was coming. From the moment I turned 18 I knew it was coming. But July passed, and so did August, and it didn't come. September and October came to an end without the arrival of a certain letter. As November came around, I thought I was safe, that it would never come. I was wrong.
The letter did come. Halfway through April it fell on our doormat, asking me one terrifying but important question: "Do you want to become an organ donor?"

My parents never signed me up as an organ donor, but now I'm 18 I can make my own decision. It was the most difficult decision of my life, to be honest, even more difficult than choosing a career path. So I did what I always do when I have to make an important decision: pretend it didn't happen.
So I shoved the letter under a pile of half-finished stories and drafts and went to Vienna. When I came back I told myself I was too  focused on my internship reports to make this decision. But two weeks ago I ran out of excuses. I pulled the letter out of the huge pile of paper and finally read it.

"Yes, I will become donor!"
Part of the letter I received
Many people need an organ transplant. There just aren't enough organs, because there aren't enough donors. I know that's a bad thing, but as I read the letter I couldn't help thinking that someone would open up my dead body to extract an organ and give it to someone else. The idea freaked me out.
I put the letter away and put my head in my hands. It seemed heavy with thoughts. I had such a difficult decision to make... but if I were dying and a donated organ could save my life, I'd like to get that organ. Besides, what good is a kidney when you'll never drink anything ever again? Or lungs when you're not breathing anymore? Or an eye if you'll never look at the world again? My organs could save someone's life and make them happy until long after my death.
I sat at my desk for a while, trying to come up with reasons not to become an organ donor. Main reason was of course the freakiness, but other than that I couldn't come up with a single reason not to do it. In fact I could only think of reasons why I should become an organ donor.
I picked up the letter and looked at the list of organs I could donate in case of sudden death. Most thing felt too personal though. My heart will always be mine. Just my eyes and skin. But if I die, I hope my kidneys will help someone else live on. I hope someone will get my super healthy that's been spared the awful effects of alcohol. And my pancreas and intestines, those are allowed to find a new home too.
With the letter in my hand, I went downstairs to talk about it with my parents. My mom used to be an organ donor, but my dad didn't like the idea of her organs going to other people. I expected him to be a bit angry, but he wasn't. In fact, he didn't say anything. My mom become very emotional though, and at one point I started crying; neither of us liked discussing my mortality. The conversation lasted an hour, even though my mom said she supported my decision right away. My dad didn't say anything all that time, except: 'It's your decision.' I told him I didn't want to become an organ donor if he didn't support my decision. He started to walk away, the turned and said: 'I support your decision, but only if you promise that I get to die before you do!'
For some reason that made me laugh while I was stilly crying.

I filled the form in that same afternoon and posted it. I feared I was going to regret my decision, but two weeks have passed and I still feel good about this. And why not? Who knows, one day I might save someone's life, and so can you if you decide to become an organ donor.

Stay Awesome!

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14 Fellow Ramblers

  1. Don't die just yet Envy Fisher T-T

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    1. I was not planning on dying anytime soon. Besides, I promised my dad that he could die first and he's not in a hurry to die either :P

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  2. Oh wow. It sounds freaky to have someone take your insides, but I think you made a noble choice. :) I don't think I could give up my heart either. Kidneys sound good, even if I were alive (you only need one, after all). :)

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    1. The idea still freaks me out, but I'm happy with the choice I made.
      There's something about the heart that makes it just too personal for me to give it up after my death, but my kidneys, well, I don't care about those the way I care about my heart. I wouldn't give one up before I die though: what if they one you have left suddenly gets sick?

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  3. Congrats on being an organ donor! I'd probably sign up for it because the whole idea of living in another person's body fascinates me :D
    (oh no, is that my doctor showing?? D: )

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    1. Thanks ^-^
      And yes, your doctor is showing ;)

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  4. Honestly, the whole prospect of organ donation really is creepy, not so much for the organ but by the fact that thinking about it means thinking about your death. I reckon becoming an organ donator was an amazing choice you made.

    -M
    The Life of Little Me

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    1. I know, the idea always freaked me out and till the day I read the letter I've always said that I'd never become an organ donor. But now that I've made this decision, I feel like I've done the right thing, no matter how much it still freaks me out.

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  5. What a controversial decision you had to make, but I think you made a great one!

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    1. Thank you :)
      It's a though decision and I don't think anyone is ever ready to make it. It's controversial and a bit creepy to talk about, but I think saving a life is more important than being complete when you're dead.

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  6. In my home state (and most other states throughout the US I presume), you make the decision to become an organ donor when you get your license (generally when you turn 16). Prior to that point if you happened to have passed away your parents would make the decision for you.

    Honestly I didn't put much thought into this decision (I didn't even know the question would be asked). I was just excited to have passed my driver's license test and when the lady at the DMV asked if I wanted to become an organ donor, I said yes without a thought.

    A good family friend of ours died two years ago waiting for a kidney. He had been waiting for nearly 11 years and never received one (the average wait time in the US ranges from 5-10 years for a kidney). I'm thankful that you chose to become a donor. :)

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    1. The idea of having to make this decision when you get your license freaks me out: it's like they're saying: okay, you can kill yourself in a car accident now, so how about telling us what to do with your organs if that happens?
      I think I would have said no if I'd had so little time to think about it, because the idea was so scary to me. But I'm glad I made this decision. If I need an organ, I'd like people to donate theirs too.

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  7. Being an organ donor is a tough choice but there are some things people don't consider when they are making that decision. Even though people are voluntarily giving up their organs for free when they die, doctors are selling them for thousands upon thousands of dollars to poor sick people that are going to be in debt from just being ill. And what happens if you are on life support or something drastic and the doctor has a chance to save you but he lets you go so he can make some fast $$? You might die prematurely because a doctor wants even more money than he already has.

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    1. I can understand your argument here. I've never taken any of it into consideration when I had to make my decision, for the very simple reason that none of this is an issue where I live. In the Nethelands, doctors will never not give you an organ or medication just because you're poor (everyone has insurances for stuff like this). When Dutch donor organs die, they can be sure that their organs will go to the first and not the richest person on the waiting list and it'll happen within a matter of days, maybe even hours.
      If I'd lived in the US, I might have made a different decision, because it shouldn't be possible for doctors to make money on terribly ill people or just letting them die because they're poor.

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