June 1st was World Organ Donor Day. Unfortunately, like many international holidays such as World Ocean Day, World Refugee Day, and World Blood Donor Day (all of which also take place in June) it was not widely celebrated. However, because as many as 15,000 kidneys are trafficked illegally each year according to traffickingproject.org, more people should be paying attention.
But, there are vital ways to help without giving up a kidney (right now).
- Become an organ donor today. The World Health Organization’s Dr. Luc Noel stated in a recent article that organ transplantation covers only ten percent of global need.
- Head to the doctor or hospital and become a member of the national bone marrow registry. It is as simple and painless as donating blood platelets, and could easily save someone’s life. Only two percent of Americans are on a marrow donor list, and every year 3,000 people in the U.S. alone die waiting for bone marrow transplants. The need is so great and the solution is so simple that there has even been talk about implementing legislation to compensating donors. You can learn more at marrow.org.
- Donate blood regularly. Every single day, 44,000 blood donations are needed at hospitals around the country. Blood is by far the most convenient and painless thing to donate, and each donation can help save up to three lives.
Around the world, millions are stuck in a cycle of chronic sickness and inadequate healthcare. By following these simple steps, everyone can set an example of how to meet these urgent needs in an efficient and ethical manner that will potentially spread throughout the world.
– Samantha Mauney