A day of love … and organ donation

National Organ Donation Day

February 14, 2020 | Category: News

Most of us know February 14 to be a day of love which bears the name Valentine’s Day. We’re sure that millions of dollars are spent on flowers, chocolates, cards and more each year on this made up holiday which is great for the economy, but what if you were able to give on a whole other level that made an incredible impact for not just one but 75 people’s lives? You read that right. Seventy five lives could be healed and saved with the gift of organ donation. You see, February 14 is also #NationalOrganDonorDay and we’re trying to spread the word to get more Americans to be on the donor list.

Did you know that right now 113,000 men, women and children are in need of an organ transplant in America? And, every 10 minutes a new name is added to that same list. Twenty two people die each day because an organ wasn’t donated in time.

Currently, 82% of the people on the waiting list are in need of a kidney. This is where it hits closest to home for us at Cetronia Ambulance Corps. Our very own dispatcher, Jonathon Kunkle is on this list. You can read more about him and his journey here.

Then yesterday out of the blue, it personally hit me hard again when a dear old friend of mine from the Lehigh Valley, Mukesh Kadhiwala (age 57), came to visit me and gave me his news of being on the very same transplant list. What I find very interesting is that just a few days earlier my husband and I were watching a program on TV and were discussing organ donation, not knowing that today is #NationalOrganDonorDay. What are the odds? Is this a sign of some sort?

I learned a lot by talking to Mukesh. He has been on the list for about a year and a half and is living with 10 percent kidney function at this time. He told me the average wait time for a kidney is three to five years and described how rapidly that percentage has gone down for him since he was informed of his kidney failure.

We also talked a lot about the differences between being a living donor and a deceased donor and the expectancy of the donation for each. You can read more facts about donation at DonateLife.net.

One thing that I hadn’t known is that you can actually request donor information for a particular person. For example, for Mr. Kadhiwala you could contact @LehighValleyHealthNetwork Donor Coordinator Leigh Yocum at 610-402-8506 ext. 5 and she will give you information particular to his needs and talk to you about the process of being a donor.

So Americans, what do you say? Currently only 58 percent of us are signed up to donate. Will you make the decision to increase that number today? It’s simple to register, just visit RegisterMe.org. And, of course, we wish you a very happy Valentine’s Day! We hope you can help save a life just like we do on a daily basis this year.