Whether you are traveling during the Thanksgiving holiday or opening your home to others, this time of year presents a prime opportunity to talk about a topic usually avoided unless at the DMV or sadly in a hospital waiting room. Of course, we are talking about your end-of-life wishes and whether they includes organ, eye and tissue donation.
Wait, aren't the holidays supposed to be full of cheer? How can talking about donating organs liven up the mood?
We are certainly not implying that bringing up donation is easy or always comfortable. However, we know that more and more, peoples' lives are affected each day because of donation and transplantation. You have a greater chance today of knowing someone on the national transplant waiting list, someone undergoing diaylsis, someone who received an organ or tissue transplant, or someone who has given the gift of life than in any previous time in our history. Looking ahead in the future, the chance that you will be personally touched is only going to continue to increase.
So, how does one broach the subject? As a family, you can watch one of our inspirational videos, featuring Chris Henry or Jason Ray, to talk about the importance of knowing your loved ones wishes. During blessings, you can acknowledge the number of people waiting in the US (over 120,000!) and in NC (over 3,400!) for life-saving organ transplants. You can bring Donate Life colors into your decorations, whether through linens, ribbons, pins, and more. Perhaps someone in your community has been recently affected by donation or transplantation. Share newspaper articles or online blog posts.
You will know the best route for your loved ones to bring up this important topic. You can even acknowledge that it's hard to predict when entire families and friend groups will be back together again. We don't want to miss out on an opportunity to have true dialogue about donation in a safe, welcoming environment. The last place any family wants to have that type of conversation is at a hospital after something tragic has happened.
So, over stuffing, green bean casserole, and gravy-soaked mashed potatoes, celebrate life that others have given and the ones we have right now. Ask your family: what do you all want your legacies to be? We hope that saving and enhancing lives through organ, eye and tissue donation will be a top choice!