Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Legacy of Life

Today, my neighbours at BlogCatalog and I are attempting to do a little consciousness raising. Our subject is organ donation. It is something of which we are all aware; however, we really don't give it much thought -- unless it becomes an issue in our immediate family. But it is one of those phenomena where demand far outstrips supply.

In Australia, over 1700 patients are awaiting organ transplants. In Latin America, more than 50,000 patients are waiting; in Europe and the United States the number is 95,000. And in China, more than 2 million Chinese need organ transplants. The demand is so great that in South Asian countries, such as Pakistan and India, perfectly healthy people are willing to sell an organ -- like a kidney -- in the daily battle to survive.

Perhaps we don't give the idea of donating our organs much thought because what precedes it is too uncomfortable to contemplate. However, most of us prepare wills in preparation for that day. As part of that process, we should also consider what donating our usable organs can mean to those who face premature deaths.

We can give the gift of life to those who still have so much to give to life. And there is no greater gift than the gift a of stranger who gives -- not in the expectation of receiving something in return -- but because the need is great.

It is a gift that will be remembered with each new sunrise.

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