As the community outreach associate at The LLF, my job is basically to eat, sleep and breathe donation education – even when I’m not “on the clock.” Because of this, anytime I see or hear anything having to do with donation and transplantation, it immediately grabs my attention and I start thinking about how I can use it as an opportunity to educate others. Last night, I did just that.
I was eating dinner at my mother’s house while lazily skimming through store ads she had sitting on her kitchen table in preparation for “Cyber Monday,” when I came across the Pennysaver, which is essentially a printed book of classified ads that my mother (as well as most Maryland residents) receives in the mail weekly. I opened it to look for any community Christmas events, and on the very first page, an ad caught my eye. It was located at the top of the page and in bold letters, the ad read:
Q: DO YOU NEED BOTH KIDNEYS?
Of course, I had to read more. It turns out, a 26-year-old man by the name old Darrell, who has already undergone brain surgery, is now in need of a kidney transplant, and his support team took out an ad in the Pennysaver, asking if anyone would be willing to donate a kidney to him. It is definitely a creative way to try to find a willing living donor for Darrell while he waits for a kidney transplant, and I certainly wish him the best during his wait. It seems like he has a very proactive group of supporters who care about him and unfortunately don’t seem to be able to donate to him. Darrel has type O+ blood, which is the universal donor (it is a compatible donor to any other blood type), but can only receive organs and blood from others with type O blood. This makes matching organs to Darrell (and other patients with type O blood) a little more difficult.
Editor’s Note: if you cannot read the ad in the photo and would like to read what the rest of it says, the full ad text is at the bottom of this post.
As most of us get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season trying to find the best deals for material gifts, let’s try to keep people like Darrell, who are waiting for a life-saving transplant, in our thoughts. These people are waiting for the greatest gift of all: the gift of life, and it only takes one person to say “yes” to donation and make a difference in their lives.
My thoughts are with Darrell and the rest of the 109,000+ people who are currently waiting for life-saving organ transplants, as well as all the recipients, donors and donor families who show what giving is really all about.
For information about living donation, you may contact one of Maryland’s two transplant hospitals:
The John’s Hopkins Hospital – www.hopkinsmedicine.org/transplant
University of Maryland Medical Center – www.umm.edu/transplant
Full ad text from the Pennysaver (Please keep in mind that this ad is a plea for a volunteer to donate a kidney altruistically. It is against the law to buy or sell any human organs or tissues in the United States.):
Q: DO YOU NEED BOTH KIDNEYS?
FACT: You only need one functioning kidney to lead a healthy life.
Darrell, 26, who has already successfully undergone brain surgery, now faces kidney failure.
DARRELL NEEDS YOUR HELP.
He is in need of a kidney transplant. Darrell is O positive. Are you O positive? If you answer yes, you could help save his life.
Did you know: There is NO COST for you to donate your kidney. There is everything to be gained by donating your kidney. Your gift of life will mean a healthy life for Darrell. It costs you nothing to determine if you are a potential donor. Think about it, you can change the course of a disease with one e-mail. Here is the email contact information for Darrell’s support team:
Think about it… and truly make a difference.