I’m writing this post to bring to your attention the opportunity to make a super-significant gift that costs you nothing out-of-pocket.

The gift I’m taking about is often referred to as the gift of life, organ donation.

I am the recipient of a donated liver. My life was saved 22 years ago by a transplant.

In gratitude, I promote the good work of the “Center for Donation and Transplant” every chance I get. Thousands of people die every year who could have been saved if there were as many donors as there are people in need.

I like to point out a couple of things to people who are interested. One is that as many as 17 lives can be impacted by one donor, as many different types of tissue are used. My favorite example of this is the use of skin tissue for burn victims. I became sensitized to this need while riding the hospital shuttle bus to my liver clinic in Boston. That bus also stopped at the Shriners Burn Hospital. Let me tell you, seeing kids suffer like that put my transplant into the “mere inconvenience” category by comparison.

The other thing to note is this. You’re not really a donor until you notify your family of your intent. Signing your driver’s license would be overridden by your next of kin saying they don’t think you wanted to be a donor. This happens because the organ procurement counselors always ask permission before the organs can be harvested.

My next post will be related to this one, on a more current issue.

Thanks for thinking about your potential role.

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