Yes, today is my birthday.
I feel eternally grateful that I am celebrating it in gloriously healthy fashion thanks to the selfless gift that Rosaleene (Rose) Cook gave me on March 27, 2007 – that’s the day she donated her kidney to me.
On my birthday the previous July 1st I vividly remember blowing out the candles on my birthday cake and wishing – for the first time in such a way – for a new kidney to find me that year. It was a day later, July 2nd, that Rose called and said she’d read my story and would be more than happy to give me her kidney.
Birthday wishes do come true.
Unfortunately, over 108,000 people are currently waiting for an organ here in the US and many die while waiting. My friend David was one of them.
So, I hope you don’t mind if I make this birthday post a bit more personal and, out of desire to help make birthday wishes come true for the 108,000 still waiting, ask a small favor of each of you.
My wish today is that all of you – my friends, colleagues and readers whom I have come to treasure – will reflect on your ability to change someone’s life in the most significant way possible if you ever had the chance… Would you consider signing up to become an organ donor?
Signing your drivers license is a great first step but is not legally binding. What this means is that your loved ones could say “no” to donation despite your desire if the situation ever arose. Estimates based on registry status show that this happens nearly 20% of the time because of the unbearable pain that family members are in at the time they need to make a decision. I can’t even imagine being in that kind of pain and needing to be rational.
So, if you have considered it and you know you want to be an organ donor – and you don’t want your family to have to make such a decision on your behalf if the situation ever arose – please consider going to http://www.donatelife.net/CommitToDonation/ to sign up in a more legal fashion applicable to your state (you can change your mind at any time). It only takes a minute to sign up – really.
If you have the inclination to pursue living donation please use the “Email Me” form to let me know and I’ll connect you to someone who can advise you on next steps in your city.
Thank you to every single one of you simply for considering it and for sharing this day with me. I am honored to have each of you in my life!
I hope that over the next year as you make your own birthday wish you’ll keep my story in mind and make a bold wish with great intent!
As always, your comments are genuinely appreciated…