Becoming an organ and tissue donor is something we can easily do, but for many of us, that’s not something we even think about. It may seem like a scary thing to do, but when you’re a registered donor, you will not only be giving hope to the person in need of a life-saving transplant but also to their families. Kevin Myer, LifeGift President and CEO, joins Blanca to discuss how we can give the incredible gift of life through LifeGift. The non-profit organization offers information that can answer whatever questions, fears, or concerns that keep us from becoming a donor.
Kevin explains the need for specific organs and tissues for children and adults. He also talks about their launch of an innovative neonatal donation program and what to expect as a donor. He addresses the fears many people may have and how we can register to become a donor.
Kevin lets us know how we can become volunteers and join their upcoming LifeGift’s 2nd Chance Walk/Runs happening September 17 at Minute Maid Park, Downtown. This event honors donors and celebrates new life with recipients.
To learn more about LifeGift, visit: https://www.lifegift.org or call 713-523-4438.
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[00:00:00] There are 8 potential organs for donation: kidneys, liver, lungs, heart, pancreas, small intestine, bowel, and bone marrow. Other tissues include skin, heart valves, bone, connective tissue, nerves, and corneas. These donations save lives and give people a second chance.
[00:06:04] Misconceptions about organ donation, including fear of premature death and costs, but the power of saying yes and helping others prevail.
[00:08:55] Houston is praised for its diverse workforce and ability to empathize with families in crisis. LifeGift, an organization in Houston, helps dispel fears and explain the organ donation process to families. Texans have a strong culture of organ donation, with 60% of Texans registered as organ donors. Registering as a donor is easy through the DMV or online at donatelifetexas.org. It is important to communicate your decision to your loved ones, as registered individuals’ wishes to donate must be honored.
[00:15:26] Age and certain health conditions do not disqualify someone from being an organ donor. Medical history and tests are assessed to determine suitability. Conditions like hepatitis B and C can now be managed, increasing availability of organs for transplant. HIV-positive organs can also be used in certain cases.
[00:19:13] The need for kidney and liver transplants is high, especially in Houston and Texas. Some fortunate people can receive a kidney or liver from healthy family or friends through rigorous testing and matching. This type of living donation is successful and supported by transplant centers.
[00:21:35] In neonatal organ donation, opportunities exist for partial heart transplants and donation of other tissues to help babies with heart problems. Incredible needs are met through generous parents in tragic situations.
[00:25:19] Organ sharing in the United States, with some international sharing, based on waiting lists, preservation technology, and ethnicity. One example is a heart transplant from Hawaii to Boston. Registration is national, regardless of state or location.
[00:28:00] The Astros are hosting the LifeGift 2nd Chance Run on September 17 at Minute Maid Park. You can register online at lifegift.org. It’s a community outreach event that includes a one mile walk/run and a five k walk/run. Participants can also join virtually. It’s a great opportunity to honor loved ones who were organ donors.
[00:31:35] The website www.lifegift.org provides information and an opportunity to ask questions. They are available 24/7 and are open to giving virtual or in-person presentations. Phone numbers can be found on their website for further inquiries. They have a community outreach group and volunteers who share their personal stories. They also have representatives who can speak in different languages.