National Minority Donor Awareness Week was created to increase awareness of the need, especially among minorities, for more organ, eye and tissue donors.  It is also a time to honor minorities who have donated and to encourage others to register as donors.

Where I live we have a very public and vocal promoter of organ donation. His name is Scott Hetsko and he is a weather man on the local TV station with the highest ratings. He found himself in need of a new heart due to genetics and was one of the lucky ones, who after a six month wait in the hospital, received the perfect heart from a donor. I think you realize this means someone lost their life, but gave their heart, so another person could go on living. Scott often tells his story, thanks the donor family and encourages others to commit to being a donor, not just their heart, but any vital organ or tissue.

I don’t know what the statistics are for such a happening, but we know a second individual personally who is celebrating her actual birthday this week because she has a second birthday on which she celebrates receiving her new heart. She had to wait longer than Scott did, but because one person gave, she can go on living a life of laughter and accomplishment.

I would find it an honor to donate any part of my body that would be useful to another at the time of my death and have signed the necessary papers to make that happen. I have just become aware there is a need for more minorities to make the same decision, though I don’t know what keeps them from doing so. Maybe it is just learning that there is a need. Hopefully this National Minority Donor Day will help.

I hope you never need any type of organ or tissue donation, but if you do, I hope there is an individual and their family who are willing to donate as they deal with their own personal loss.