I carry a special card in my wallet, signed and dated a couple of years ago, that says that in the event of my death, my organs are going to be donated.
After September 11th, there were hundreds (possibly thousands) of human interest pieces showing people doing incredible things in the name of helping others out. Blood drives became flooded with folks who normally wouldn't have considered sitting with a needle in their arm for several minutes who came with every good intention to help their fellow Americans.
It makes my heart swell with warmth and hope in people for doing something so kind, so generous.
Right now, I'm working on a work project that has me thinking a lot about organ donation. Several years ago, I signed a card that I keep in my wallet saying that I am willing to donate my organs to those who might need them. Two years ago, I drove past a bone marrow registration drive and saw pictures of a little boy named Anthony. Anthony was born with a rare blood disorder and would likely need a bone marrow transplant. My heart, so sensitive to causes related to children, overtook me. I dropped off my stuff at my house, told my dad where I was going, the whole time having trouble keeping my voice clear to speak, and fought back tears as I drove back and stood in line to register.
I carry about six different health-related cards in my wallet, none of which are insurance cards. (Don't get me wrong - I have those too, but these aren't them.) CPR and First-Aid certification, blood donor information, bone marrow donor registration cards and one for my organs.
It never ceases to blow my mind at the possibility of life from someone giving up a kidney, giving a heart and lungs or a liver. Obviously, there are so many organs that can be successfully harvested and transplanted, but those are just some that came to mind.
I don't really know who reads this -- I don't broadcast it to many people -- but I encourage anyone reading this to think strongly about checking "yes" the next time you renew your license and the question of whether you'll donate your organs comes up.
I don't think anyone really does it for the recognition or the accolade, but there is something overpoweringly selfless about something like donating a pint of blood, going in for surgery to give someone new life with your bone marrow, or in the event of your death, giving them a permanent gift.
Please, please, please consider it.