This week (7-13th July) is National Transplant Week and the world has taken to social media to join in with the campaign. #SpellItOut encourages people to spell out their decision about organ donation in a creative way and upload the picture to the website or another social media site. The idea is to make the it clear that you want your organs to be donated (or not).
The idea behind this campaign is sparked by the fact that if the persons decision on organ donation is unknown, the choice is given to their families. In this situation, only 45% of families allow their loved ones’ organs to be donated. This is a stark contrast to the percentage of organ donation when the persons decision is known; 95%. Signing up and making your decision clear could help to save so many lives, all of whom are just waiting for the day a life-saving organ becomes available. Sign up here.
The amazing thing about organ donation is that you could save someone’s life so easily. Someone who hasn’t been able to lead a normal life due to their disease or illness.
Someone with Cystic Fibrosis, just like me, could be a recipient of a donated organ. CF mainly affects the lungs and there can come a point the disease where a sufferer becomes bed-bound and has to rely on oxygen to breathe, now living in hope that a new pair of lungs will become available.
BBC Radio 1’s Newsbeat reported a story just like this on their program yesterday. At just 17, Sophie Clarke described herself as “just existing” and waiting for her life to be saved. Four months after being put on the transplant list, she received news that there was a pair of lungs for her. Now, two years later, with a new pair of healthy lungs, she has managed to go back into education, lose the wheelchair she used to rely on and now feels “like a normal human being.”
It’s scary to think that a disease I suffer from can become so extreme. Luckily, I have never been at the point where I’ve had to think about transplantation. There have been bad times for me and my CF, certainly, but nowhere near the stage of looking for new lungs. But that doesn’t mean it won’t happen in the future and there’s still no cure for CF. Donation is the closest thing to a cure that we have but it is an option only taken up in the worst stage.
Someone like you, who is reading this blog, could be the one to save someone like me, a CF sufferer, hoping for some new lungs. So, Spell It Out. Join the campaign and sign up to be an organ donor.
In the past year there has been a 10% rise in transplant operations, ultimately saving more people’s lives but, the number of families saying yes to organ donation on behalf of their loved ones still remain low. Every day 3 people lose their lives as they wait for organ transplants. So, if you want to be an organ donor, make it clear and join the campaign. Signing up to be an organ donor is easy, just head to the transplant website to join the register.