Today is a holiday to give life


Caitlin Merrill, staff writer

Today is a well known holiday — a holiday to celebrate love and friendship, Valentine’s Day.

But many people either don’t know or don’t care about the lesser known holiday that shares the same date, National Organ Donor Day. Becoming an organ donor is a gift that keeps giving.

There are a few things you can donate while living; for example, one of your kidneys, a liver lobe, a lung or part of it, skin, and blood. There are multiple ways to become an organ donor. You can choose to be one when you get your ID or your driver’s license. You also can also sign up online through your state’s registration website. For Indiana the website is There you can learn more about why you may want to become an organ donor, the benefits, what you can and can’t donate, and even sign up to become a donor.

While becoming an organ donor is selfless there are cons just like there are pros. Some of the pros are your giving someone else the gift of life, regardless if you’re alive and donating one of the limited things you can donate alive or dead, you’re allowing someone else to live a full life. Another pro is regardless of your age you can become an organ donor. If you’re a minor you do have to get the consent of a parent or guardian in order to do so. If you’re an organ donor the hospital covers the expenses of your surgery.

Some of the cons are the fact that there are more people in need of organ donation than people who are willing to donate their organs. Another con is that whoever you donate your organ to could reject your organ and you would have donated a vital part of your body for no good reason. Another con is that you could be in severe pain after donation as well as your incision site can become infected. For women, a major con is that women who have donated organs have a higher chance of having preeclampsia and high blood pressure.

While being an organ donor comes with risks both health wise and mentally, it is a gift. More than 105,800 men, women and children are on the national transplant waiting list. Twenty-two people die each day waiting for an organ transplant. Every organ donor can save eight lives and help 75 more. Every 10 minutes another person is added to the transplant waiting list — 95% of Americans are suited to become organ donors while only 54% are actually organ donors. 60% of adolescents are organ donors. While the thought of becoming an organ donor may be scary there are benefits to becoming one.