Sheriff Sarah

Sheriff Sarah

Monday, July 9, 2012

How Do We Close the Organ Donation Gap?

I just read an interesting article by Dr. Andrew S. Klein, a former chairman with UNOS. He reveals the problems our country faces with organ donation. In 2011, there were more than 110,000 people awaiting transplants but only 28,465 transplants completed. How can this be and how do we narrow this enormous gap? (You can read his entire article here.)

A huge part of the problem is apathy towards transplants remains. The number of people affected by transplants of any kind has certainly increased over time but that fact hasn't penetrated the culture-at-large. While Facebook's initiative to increase organ donor registration is a great start, we need so much more work done on a local level.

This can include any or all of the following:

- Letters to the editor of your local papers, print and online

- Reaching out to local educational institutions, from high schools to universities

- Contacting local businesses to help with information outreach

- Booking speaking engagements with local community service organizations

Many of you know I'm writing a book about our personal experience with transplant. Part of my hope for this book is that it will touch people who've never thought much about organ donation/transplant. Awareness is certainly key, but action is required to make a dent the statistics noted above.

You could probably come up with your own list or add many items to mine. Feel free to do so and post a comment with your suggestions, or what you're already doing to advocate organ donation.

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