As some of you may know, my wife Tammy has been waiting for a much needed kidney transplant for almost a year now.
It dawned on me this morning that despite the fact I've almost been begging strangers on the street to donate a kidney to us, I never registered to be an organ donor myself. For shame, me! Even though I got tested and turned down as a match for Tammy, I'm pleased with myself for registering this morning as an organ donor after I die. Now if I get hit by a bus on the way home (why always a bus?) I may provide the gift of life for somebody else.
I was happy to see like lots of things these days, registering online is quick and easy. It literally took me under a minute. I visited www.organdonor.gov, filled out a ridiculously short form, and just like that, my guts are up for grabs.
Why didn't I do it sooner? Well, filling out a form involving my own death didn't exactly leave me feeling warm and fuzzy. I think that's why a lot of us don't do it. In a way, it's accepting our own mortality. Acknowledging that yes, someday we will kick the bucket and here's what we want done with our entrails. Not to mention, I couldn't help picturing some guy in a lab coat scooping out my spleen and tossing it in a cooler as I clicked "submit." Gross.
But all that's silly, really. We all know we're going to die someday and who cares if we're missing some parts when we hit the morgue? Letting them go to waste is what's really silly. Folks like my wife and her fellow dialysis patients wait over two years on average to get a cadaver kidney. Considering how many people die each day, that seems like a really really really long time. Just ask my wife.
Have I shamed you into filling out that form yet? Good, because the more I think about it, there should be a form to opt-out of the donor program instead of opt-in. That's just my gut reaction but it makes sense to me.