Chopped Liver - A Community for Live Organ Donors and Recipients

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Chopped Liver's day in the Sun

Chopped Liver enjoys a day in the public sun today -- literally, thanks to the generous attention of the Baltimore Sun's intrepid blog expert (and long-time friend of mine) Troy McCullough. A special welcome to any of the paper's readers who have ventured here from his column today! I'm grateful for your interest and concern. If you're compelled to start from the beginning -- which wasn't too long ago -- see the November archives link in the right-hand column. I promise fun posts on liver biopsies and fat cells named Larry, and in one post I managed to use both "bile leak" and "joy." Where else can you find stuff this good?

I created this site to chronicle my own personal journey, not to construct a soap box for organ donation and awareness, but I can't pass up the opportunity to share some critical and under-emphasized facts that could save lives in your community and around the world.

Of the 17, 488 people in the U.S. on the national list for a donor liver, 2,523 are in the region including Maryland, Delaware, D.C., New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. In Maryland alone, there are 482 people awaiting liver transplants. These people need an organ to survive, yet only a fourth of them will receive one in time. The U.S. faces an organ donation shortage, exacerbated by misunderstandings of what it takes to donate one's organs after death.

Many believe checking the "organ donor" box on a driver's license is sufficient. Not true! The only way to ensure you will be treated as an organ donor is to document your decision and communicate your wishes clearly to your family or durable power of attorney. The Coalition on Donation offers clear instructions and resources. Please, if you consider yourself an organ donor or want to become one, visit this site soon.

UNOS (the organization that doles out the organs) combats this and other myths with the truth on its Web site, which also offers complete national and regional statistics and several other facts, figures, and resources. I found the above statistics there.

On a final, personal note, if you find my story compelling, please visit often, leave comments, and spread the word. Our surgery date is set for January 18. Thanks for visiting. You have made my day.

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