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Fact Over Fiction: Debunking Common Donation Myths - Part Three

Remember hearing adults in your life start sentences like "When you're older..." or "You are just too young." For years we pined to be old enough, looking forward to breaking through those age limitations and barriers.

But then, the barriers start to go up, and often times, we are the ones putting up those walls: "I'm too old to..." or "If I was younger..." Are you guilty of using one of these phrases? Does someone you love sound like this? How about when you talk about organ donation? Is someone quick to reply: "No one wants these parts anymore!"?

The fact is organ donation is a gift that people of all ages can give. In North Carolina, heroic donors have given the gift of life after just living for a few hours to living well into their 90s. There is no age limit when it comes to organ donation. Yes, the health and vitality of our organs does fade over time because they are putting in years of keeping us moving forward. But, our bodies are miraculous. Even that kidney that has been cleaning our blood for 60 years can give someone a second chance.

We have seen a trend that once people start to reach their 50s and 60s; they start to believe they can no longer be organ donors, so they asked to be removed from the donor registry, thinking that they are doing us a favor. Our philosophy is that if you would like to be a registered organ, eye and tissue donor, continue to say "Yes!" at the DMV. No matter what your age, all donors undergo a thorough medical examination prior to the consideration of donation. Only organs that are deemed healthy enough to be transplanted are considered, and only those that are matched with a recipient in need are recovered.

But just think: it takes just one organ - one kidney, one liver, one lung, to save not only the life of one individual but to keep a family together, to put a person back into the working world, and to give someone a second chance. Bottom line: don't rule yourself out!