April is Organ Donation Month (Posted April 17, 2018)

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Written by AAKP Life Member, Betty Dowe

 

I have two favorite bumper stickers (see pictures of them below) as a reminder of the “Gift of Life!” After two kidneys, one my husband received and one my daughter received, I know the need for Organ Donations.

Single tissue donors can help 75 people. Right now there are over 116,000 people on the list for an organ transplant.

My husband Don received a kidney from a 20 year old college student that was killed by a drunk driver. The donor signed up in high school. Don was a Clinical Social Worker (MSW) but because of the “Gift of Life” he switched careers, and he became a Medical Social Worker at the Dialysis Center at University of  South Florida in Tampa where we lived. Later he worked with Davita Dialysis Centers until he retired and we moved to Harmony, MN. He felt it was a small way to give back for the gift he received. He also served as Pres. of Tampa Chapter of AAKP and later was Pres. of National Association of Kidney Patients. When Don died he donated his body to Mayo Medical School in Rochester. He felt maybe by this act of giving it would help the next generation.

So many people die each year waiting for an organ transplant. Once your name is put on the waiting list for a kidney it takes 3-5 years. In the meantime, a kidney patient has dialysis 3 times a week for 3-4 hrs. to stay alive. I hope some of you will sign up to be a donor. You can register to become a donor at: https://www.donatelife.net/register/  You can review the Live Donor Toolkit:  http://www.livedonortoolkit.com/

I am a Life Member of AAKP and so is my son Greg Dowe. Please share this with friends and post on Facebook. We need more Organ Donations! Most organs come from someone that had died but can also come from a live donor. We have 2 kidneys and in a healthy person, one is enough. When they remove one kidney, the other one grows and does the work for both.

My youngest son Greg just went on dialysis. He has been a High School Band Director for 23 years but now finds himself on Dialysis 3 times a week and unable to work. He is too young to retire so I pray there will be a kidney for him in the near future.

It is truly the Gift of Life and then the patient can resume a normal life. Thank you for helping out those waiting for the “Gift of Life!”

God Bless![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”6621″ img_size=”full”][vc_single_image image=”6620″ img_size=”full”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”6624″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” title=”Don Dowe, AAKP Nova Award, September 4, 2004 “][/vc_column][/vc_row]