Thursday, March 5, 2015

What Can Blue [and Green] Do for You?!

About a week ago Ben and I joined a new organization--we became volunteers with the Washington Regional Transplant Community, aka Donate Life Ambassadors!






I knew Donate Life existed and that I should probably get involved, but I didn't dive in until I saw volunteers from the organization at the NBC Health Expo here in Washington about two months ago.  My mom, sister and I were walking through the convention center eating food samples and trying drinks--basically, pigging out--before heading to our stations at the National Kidney Foundation's booth. I talked about this a little while ago: we helped give out free screenings for kidney disease that day. 

During our little stroll we stopped in front of a bright blue and green booth with a spinning bull's eye, and people encouraging us to step right up for a free prize.  We love prizes. That's the best thing about these expos, right? All the free stuff.  It turns out that this booth was the "Donate Life" booth.  While there for about six minutes my sister realized she is an organ donor, my mom met someone who received a kidney transplant, I met someone who received a heart transplant, and I got a free cellphone car charger. Whoooooooooo!  It glows bright blue when I plug it in.  At that point I also signed up to become a volunteer one day.  

In late February, Ben and I attended a training with more free stuff (T-shirts and Tropical Smoothie) and learned all about the mission of WRTC and Donate Life and ways that we can get involved.  

I've written a few times about the power of living organ donations and how awesome people are for donating their body parts while they're alive.  But I learned a lot at the training about what it takes to become a deceased organ and tissue donor.  Kind of a scary topic, but still, very necessary to discuss because so many people have a ton of misconceptions about organ donation and what it means for their lives. I even learned that there is still a chance that I can become an organ and tissue donor when I die.  Yes, hard as it is to believe.  Somebody out there might need my potentially-soaked-in-pharmaceutical-product organs.

Since our training, I'm feeling really inspired and motivated to get working with WRTC to  educate people about organ and tissue donation, and comfort those who who are waiting for a transplant right now.  I've already pitched an idea for National Donate Life Day in April to my employer

If you'd like to know more about becoming an organ donor, visit BeADonor.org