KERRVILLE, TEXAS, Tuesday, March 31, 2015
April is National Donate Life Month. Are you a registered organ donor? The Ultimate Gift of Life Foundation was formed in January of 2014 with a mission of increasing the number of registered organ and tissue donors in Texas and throughout the country. For the last 14 months, the transplant waiting list continued to grow. As of March 1st, the number has remained relatively consistent with an equal number of people added, as others are removed.
Last year was a busy with over 1145 new organ donors registered at special events and presentations by The Ultimate Gift. Volunteers worked hard throughout 2014 verifying those on the Texas Donor Registry and getting new donors on the list. The importance of organ donation was shared at over 50 locations, with just over 2700 people in attendance. Hill Country neighbors on the transplant waiting list were given hope that they would find a matching donor. Donor families were given some comfort that their loved ones continue to make a difference in other’s lives.
As of today, there are 123,377 on the waiting list. Of those, over 12,000 are Texans. A new name is added to the waiting list approximately every 10 minutes and an average of 21 people die every day as they wait. And, living donors are needed to help those waiting for a kidney. The decision to donate should be made well in advance of a tragedy that makes it necessary.
Throughout April we will share stories of your neighbors that have been impacted personally by organ donation. Right now 43.68% of Kerr County and 41.90% of Gillespie County residents are registered donors. Our goal is over 80% registered so that the number of people waiting for organs declines and no one in the future waits for more than 6 months.
If you are not a donor – register today at www.theultimategiftoflife.com! Volunteers are also available to speak throughout the Texas Hill Country about organ donation. Please contact Kristy Vandenberg at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 830-792-9197 to get your event scheduled.
TO REMEMBER ME – by Robert Noel Test, American Poet (1926-1994)
“The day will come when my body will lie upon a white sheet neatly tucked under four corners of a mattress located in a hospital; busily occupied with the living and the dying. At a certain moment a doctor will determine that my brain has ceased to function and that, for all intents and purposes, my life has stopped.
When that happens, do not attempt to instill artificial life into my body by the use of a machine. And don’t call this my deathbed. Let it be called the bed of life, and let my body be taken from it to help others lead fuller lives.
Give my sight to the man who has never seen a sunrise, a baby’s face or love in the eyes of a woman.
Give my heart to a person whose own heart has caused nothing but endless days of pain.
Give my blood to the teenager who was pulled from the wreckage of his car, so that he might live to see his grandchildren play.
Give my kidneys to the one who depends on a machine to exist from week to week.
Take my bones, every muscle, every fiber and nerve in my body and find a way to make a crippled child walk. Explore every corner of my brain.
Take my cells, if necessary, and let them grow so that, someday a speechless boy will shout at the crack of a bat and a deaf girl will hear the sound of rain against her window.
Burn what is left of me and scatter the ashes to the winds to help the flowers grow.
If you must bury something, let it be my faults, my weakness and all prejudice against my fellow man.
Give my sins to the devil.
Give my soul to God.
If, by chance, you wish to remember me, do it with a kind deed or word to someone who needs you. If you do all I have asked, I will live forever.”
About the Author: Robert N. Test was one of the pioneers in promoting organ and tissue donations. In 1976, he wrote an essay titled “To Remember Me.” It was first published in The Cincinnati Post and later in Ann Landers’ column, as well as in Reader’s Digest.
About The Ultimate Gift of LIfe:
Our mission is to increase awareness of the amazing benefits of organ and tissue donation through education. This will then multiply the number of individuals registered to give
The Ultimate Gift, donating their organs and tissues to save multiple lives. Donors give the gift of hope…hope for thousands of individuals and their families who are awaiting organ transplants and hope for the individuals whose lives could be enhanced through tissue transplants. We can be reached at PO Box 295071 – Kerrville, TX 78029. Phone is 830-792-9197 and email email@example.com.