Welcome, GretaWire readers!
You have arrived at Chopped Liver during a blessed time of transition.
There is the past: When I began this blog in November 2005, it was primarily to keep my family and friends informed as I attempted to -- and then later did -- donate half my liver to my brother Joe, who was suffering from an autoimmune disease called Primary Sclerosing Colanghitis (PSC). It was also a creative outlet to help preserve my sanity through the stressful and emotional ordeal. To follow the story from the beginning, start with the November '05 archives and read from the bottom up. If you are a potential donor, you may find some of the story particularly interesting, like my play-by-play of the pre-donation biopsy, pictures of my scar, and the before-and-after MRI images I recently posted below on this page.
There is the future: I never imagined then the miracle of human empathy and connection I would come to experience as a result of this little blip in cyberspace. I have communicated with other donors, patients in need, and anonymous well-wishers from all over the world through this blog, and realized that there is a passionate community of us out there that can genuinely benefit from a place to call home on the Web. Therefore, I am working now on evolving this blog into that online community, which will re-launch as Greatest-Gift.org in the coming months. If you would like to receive word about this site when it launches, please send me an email to be added to my private distribution list.
And then, there is now: I haven't been writing as much, because there is less to say. (I'm healthy, Joe is getting there, ho hum!) I'm spending my time instead on research and preparation for the re-launch. But meanwhile, there is so much to tell a first-time visitor. So much. Like the following:
- Of the 92,265 people in the U.S. on the national list for a deceased-donor liver, only one fourth are likely to receive one in time based on current UNOS statistics. An average of 17 people die in the U.S. per day while waiting for organs.
- The nation's organ shortage is exacerbated by misunderstandings of what it takes to donate one's organs after death. UNOS debunks several myths on its Web site.
- Living-donor organ transplantation is not the only solution to the shortage, but for many people it is a life-saving option, and thanks to rapid advances in medical knowledge and technology, it is becoming more common. In 2004, UNOS reported more than 27,000 organ transplants, coming from a total of just over 14,000 donors. Of those donors, 7,150 were deceased and 6,990 were living organ donors.
- The Coalition on Donation offers clear instructions and resources for people who want to enlist as organ donors upon their death. Please, if you consider yourself an organ donor or want to become one, visit this site soon.
- The complete archives of my blog appear in the left-hand column, below some other relevant links you might find interesting or helpful.
- I welcome your comments and emails.
Thank you so much for reading this. No matter what brings you here, I wish you health, peace, and courage.