The Gift That Keeps on Giving

Giving the Gift of Life

The Gift That Keeps on Giving

When you hear February 14th, what do you think of ? Valentine’s Day, of course !! What many people don’t know is that it is also National Donor Day.

In addition to cards, hearts and flowers, this year a new tradition is starting at West Geauga High School. LifeBanc of Northeast Ohio, a nonprofit organ and tissue recovery organization, will have volunteers speaking to health classes. I worked very hard in order to be allowed to bring this program into the school, and it might eventually be approved to have it permanently placed into the health class curriculum. Many students do not even know what organ donation is and our goal is to get the facts across to everybody.

Doctors won’t try as hard to save my life if I am in the hospital because they want my organs for other people,” is a common myth people hear. This potentially turns them away from being a donor. The truth is, doctors are sworn to save lives first and foremost. Their main focus is on you, their present patient, not someone else. Hospital personnel, including ER doctors and nurses, have no way of knowing if a patient is a registered donor unless a family member tells them. Students will be learning information like this and much more.

Ms. Dianna Phillips (LifeBanc’s education coordinator) and I will be teaching four health classes on Friday, February 13th. The high school students, if they haven’t already, will be faced with the question as to whether or not they would like to be an organ donor at the BMV. Countless kids are unaware of what it is, so their immediate response is to say no. We are hoping that once they learn how important organ donation is, they will say YES to being a donor.

Many students sign up for the blood drive because they can save 3 lives. So what’s stopping them from saying YES to being able to save almost triple that amount? One donor can save 8 lives and heal up to 50. Organ donation is truly the gift that keeps on giving. Donors are known as heroes once they pass away for giving the gift of life to others.

Caitlin Skiles, the late Willoughby South student who passed in a Chesterland crash recently, was a friend to many. In her obituary it said, “Caitlin was known as a giving person and even in death, her giving continues as her organs will touch the lives of others.” Many people view donation as a final act of love and care. Unfortunately, accidents like this happen, which is why it is important for teenagers to sign up to be a donor as soon as possible.

Many families say it is a comforting, knowing that even though their loved one is gone, something good will come out of it. Families can turn their grief into knowing a gift of life was granted to other families.