Each day, an average of 79 people receive organ transplants. However, an average of 18 people die each day waiting for transplants that can’t take place because of the shortage of donated organs. Now isn’t that a cheery Valentine’s Day topic? Actually, in addition to being V-Day – it’s also National Donors Day – as in blood, tissue, organs…. One might say I’m a bit of a data geek and certainly one that has a special interest in organ donation, but it never fails to amaze me that we have an aspect of health care that is available and more and more common, yet still – we have people in the U.S. and in the world dying of organ failure. As I wrote a year ago, living organ donation isn’t for everyone. I’m obnoxiously happy that it worked so well for me and it continues to incentivize me to lead a healthier life (although I frequently ignore that… say, when I’m offered potato chips); and step out of my comfort zone. It’s also understandable that others wouldn’t want to take such a risk. I will continue to advocate and be a resource to anyone considering living donation and also – probably at least annually – suggest considering becoming an organ donor upon death. Consider the following facts:
• As of May 4, 2009, the percentage of recipients who were still living 5-years after their transplant is noted below for kidney, heart, liver, and lung.
o Kidney: 69.3%
o Heart: 74.9%
o Liver: 73.8%
o Lung: 54.4%
• In 2010, 62% of living donors were women. The statistic is reversed for deceased donation.
• In 2010, 67% of all deceased donors were White, 16% were Black, 13% Hispanic and 2.3% Asian.
• As of December 2011, the national waiting list was made up of 45% White, 29% Black, 18% Hispanic, and 7% Asian.
• In 2007, (the most recent data) there were almost 2.5 million deaths in the U.S. Imagine if every one of those persons had donated.
• Currently, more than 100 million people in the U.S. are signed up to be a donor—sign up and join them.
• Right now, there are more than enough people waiting for an organ to fill a large football stadium twice over.
If that made you want to explore options a bit and learn more about donation – here’s a helpful link: http://www.organdonor.gov/index.html.(it’s also the source for the above information)
So, some general updates. Our 18 months transplantversary will be on April 22nd, so I’ll have my final transplant center check-in required of living donors. I’m feeling absolutely great and am optimistic my labwork will agree. I changed positions within WellPoint at the end of January and while I’m still helping out with my old job until Lisa finds someone, I’m really excited about the new challenges and opportunities I have in the new position. All the animals are well. I had a portrait painted of Sebastian to honor my first pet and highly recommend the artist – http://www.megharper.com. The picture on the post is the 1st draft of his portrait. Josey is obnoxiously shy and hides when anyone comes over, however, she’s currently on her favorite evening resting spot – my lap. The dogs and I are getting a lot of exercise – we’re currently averaging 12-15,000 steps per day. That translates to about 7 miles per day. I love tired dogs! I’m also working with a personal trainer a couple times per week and throwing in some more cardio via running/walking intervals or spin classes. And with that – I am planning on going to a 6 am spin class on National Donors Day/Valentine’s Day and wish everyone a belated, and blessed 2012!