Can we lower the number?

By Antonia Spano

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According to DonateLife.org, 22 people die every day waiting for a life-saving transplant.That’s one person for every year that the average senior is alive. The number increases every year. I remember when I was ten years old, the number was around ten. Then, it was close to seventeen when I was seventeen.

Today, April 12, is my 24th birthday, and the number is still closing in on my age. Before writing this, my guess was 23 people.

Why do I know this number so well?

Exactly twenty four years ago, I was born at eleven-thirty at night with a heart defect called truncus arteriosus that caused my aorta and pulmonary artery (the two main arteries in the heart) to be formed as one vessel. My only real chance at life was a heart transplant.

I got this transplant on April 17, around lunch, making me close to 4 days old.

In elementary school, when we had to write persuasive essays, other students would choose topics like later bedtimes and current events. I was the odd one who wrote about why we should get “organ donor” on our licenses, years before we could drive.

It’s always been me against the world when it comes to organ donation. But DeSales University’s Marketing department started using its senior seminar to promote the cause last year and is continuing the fight this year.

Alyssa Kondash, a student in the class, explained her assignment for the event. “My group and I are responsible for putting the contact regarding the drive out to DeSales community to get donors to sign up.” Other students are setting up different aspects of the event. The drive is trying to get as many people as possible to sign up to be registered donors.

Christianity approves of organ donation. It is seen as a sacrifice and the final way to help others and those in need. Other religions with similar beliefs agree that it is an act of love for mankind.

There is only one way to lower the number of people dying as they wait for a transplant: To have more registered donors. That means people like us need to sign up and become a donor. Put it on your license or get a donor card. Whichever one works for you.

For the last time while in school, I’m going to leave you with a quote from a bumper sticker that Gift of Life hands out: “Don’t take your organs to Heaven, Heaven knows we need them here”.

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