"One donor saves 7 lives" is a phrase we hear repeatedly during Organ Donor Month (August), but considering that more than 4 000 South Africans await a life-giving organ or cornea transplant, we may need to up the ante on raising awareness.
Despite the fact that registration is completely free and is as easy as signing up for a social media account, less than 1% of South Africans are registered donors.
If further motivation is needed, here it is.
A US-based teacher, Beth Battista, went above and beyond by donating a kidney to her little student.
5-year-old Lyla Carreyn's kidneys had failed her due to a rare autoimmune disorder and she was undergoing 12-hour dialysis sessions daily.
Mother Dena Carreyn took to social media desperately appealing to community members to consider testing for suitability and donating.
After much fundraising and calls to action via Facebook, Lyla finally received the life-saving organ.
Watch their heartwarming story below:
During the registration process, potential donors are required to complete a donor card – here you can indicate which of your organs you'd like to donate.
4. Anonymity is a must
According to the law, the identitiy of the donor as well as the recipient must remain private.
5. Informing family is required
Since your family will be asked to give the final consent, telling them about your decision is an absolute must.
6.The decision is not set in stone
If for any reason you decide that you no longer want to be a donor, simply remove the stickers (received upon registering) from all identifying documents, i.e. driver's license and ID. Telling family about your change of heart is also advised.
If you'd like to know more, here are a few organisations you can call or email:
The Organ Donor Foundation of South Africa (ODF)
0800 22 66 11 (toll free)
The National Kidney Foundation of South Africa
011 447 2531
Love Life; Gift Life
Would you become an organ donor? Why or why not? Or, perhaps you've already donated an organ? We want to know. Tell us by emailing to firstname.lastname@example.org and we might publish your story. Anonymous submissions are welcome.
- 'It was because of Dr Barnard that my father got a second chance'
- Frozen organs could increase transplant supply
- One lifetime is not long enough. That’s why I signed up as an organ donor