Keeping Healthy: Organ Donation

Keeping Healthy: Organ Donation

"There are a 100,000 plus people in the U.S. waiting for organs today, 8,000 of those are in New York State alone, every 14 minutes somebody is placed on the list, and every day 17 people die waiting for an organ."

"When a hospital has someone that passes away while they are here, everybody that passes away we make a phone call to the Center for Donation and Transplant," says Belden. "Once the call is placed, the CDT has representatives that contact the family, and they are actually trained in the discussions in expediting the process."

Belden says there's always a shortage of donations, and encourages everyone to start the discussion with their family and friends about making the choice to donate. The decision can be an unsettling one, especially with so many myths and questions out there.

"There are rule outs for some diseases, but there is no official rule out age, so that's a huge myth, people who think they have an illness and cannot donate that's also a myth...the other myth is they think it's a free for all, if I die, they're going to come in and pick me apart."

Belden says you can choose what you'd like to donate.  If you haven't done that, or registered at all at the DMV, you can fill out a donation card at area hospitals or through the center for donations.  There is of course such thing as live donation. If a family member needs an organ, and you're a match - you wouldn't know unless you're agreeable to be an organ donor.

"It's giving the gift of life to another person and knowing that you can make the difference in something that you can't take with you anyway is a gift that this beyond explanation to the recipients."

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